The trustees of a military museum in Warwick are appealing for help in keeping the museum alive for future generations.
Last week The Courier ran a story online about the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (The Royal Warwickshire Regiment) Museum potentially closing.
A volunteer at the museum at St John’s House was concerned that the trustees would be closing the museum and was appealing for the public to push for it to stay open.
Responding to the concerns, Lt Col John Rice, Ret’d, chair of the museum trustees, has said they are not looking to close the museum but are looking for help to keep it going.
Lt Col Rice said: “The trustees have every intention of keeping the museum open. Our challenge is a financial one. In April 2017, the Ministry of Defence stopped providing financial support for the regimental museum.
“This meant the trustees took on the task of raising funds to meet the costs of rent, utility bills, maintenance and the salaries of the curator and assistant curator – a total of some £85,000 in the current financial year.”
The museum, is home to 300 years of history of the The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Many thousands of men gave their lives in service of their country. From more than 11,600 in World War One, the hundreds in World War Two, to the month of September 2009 when there were four funerals within one month for Warwickshire soldiers who died in Afghanistan.
Lt Col Rice said: “Continuing to operate in the present manner at St John’s House carries a cost, which will be difficult to maintain in the future. Therefore, we must examine different ways of operating.
“At present, these are a combination of three pillars: moving to a virtual museum using technology to make the collection available to a wider audience.
“Having cameo displays in towns and cities in Warwickshire and the part of the West Midlands which formed the original county which are easily accessible to the public.
“And to move out of St John’s House to a lower cost site where a smaller physical museum will be established. If at all possible, this will be in Warwick which is the home of The Regiment.”
“The regimental family (The Regiment, the Regimental Association in Warwickshire, the Friends of the Museum, the trustees, the Brandwood Trust and income from family research and shop sales) is contributing to the operational costs and fundraising is in progress but there remains a shortfall. Therefore we are appealing to businesses and individuals in the local area for their financial support.”
To get in touch with the trustees email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 491653.