Baroness Prashar of Runnymede officially welcomes guests to the Annual Reception

Last Friday, on 1st December 2017, friends, volunteers, Trustees and Patrons of Egham Museum gathered for the Christmas Annual Reception. For the first half an hour or so guests helped themselves to canapes and wine whilst catching up with each other and mingling with those they hadn’t met before. Guests included Egham Museum’s honorary patron, the Baroness Prashar of Runnymede, who gave a very warm and welcoming speech about the brilliant work the volunteers of Egham Museum have been doing and expressed hope for the future.

Next to speak was Trustee Roger Neild, who thanked the volunteers of Egham Museum for their hard work in keeping the museum running. Roger also announced the Patrons Scheme, which has been reinvigorated so that Patrons can individually donate £50 per year, as well as the option of a corporate membership at £200 per year. The Museum has been chosen as one of the Co-Op’s Local Causes, and we hope to set up an online donation facility soon. On another good note, Roger informed guests that Egham Museum has officially become an Accredited Museum, and was handed a certificate by Baroness Prashar recognising the Museum’s continued commitment and professionalism.

Trustee John Tuck talked about the feedback the Museum has received and how we are taking it on board, including a new 3-year business plan that has been presented at the Runnymede Borough Council’s Community Services Committee. John also read out loud some feedback from old and young visitors alike on how they are enjoying the Museum and how it contributes to the community, and just how vital the Museum is because it is run by people from the local community for the local community.

After this cheering note, Curator Sarah Corn talked about the Museum’s achievements; most notably working on several new projects with people from societies such as the Surrey Museums Partnership and Royal Holloway’s Community Action – working with other partners is a huge part of the Museum’s work, and what helps people to learn about us. The collection cataloguing is continuing to be digitised, and our social media presence is growing with the help of a new Trip Advisor page and a new Marketing Intern, Kim Bishop.

Finally, Amy Stone, the Cultural Engagement Officer, talked about the Arts Council Engand-funded ‘Suffrage in Egham’ project. She talked about the importance of the project, and how the work undertaken to uncover the stories of the local women is of the upmost importance. Amy also talked about upcoming events for the project, including a play about local womens’ suffrage stories, and the Egham-by-Runnymede Festival of Arts and Culture, which will take place for the first time next Summer.

The evening finished with an optional tour of the Museum and more mingling and general talking about what guests had just learned. Overall, the evening was a success, with plenty of guests turning up to enjoy food and drink and talk about the past year and what the Museum hopes to achieve in the future. Here’s to 2018!

Words by Rhiannon Ireland

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