Today’s Museum Week hashtag was people!
People are the most important thing about any museum and particularly so with us! If it weren’t for people we simply wouldn’t be here!
The first person we highlighted in our tweets for the day was Robert Washington Oates. He answered a plea in 1954 from the Gilbert White Trust asking for money to help fund their hopes of opening a museum to celebrate Gilbert White. Robert Washington Oates, himself very knowledgeable about naturalism, also donated his natural history library and his family collection which he wished to have housed in a museum. In 1955 the Oates Memorial Library and Museum and The Gilbert White Museum opened to the public, that would not have happened if it weren’t for Oates!
We then looked to some of the people currently supporting the museum in different capacities. For example Rosemary Irwin our chair of Trustees is preparing to walk from Gilbert White’s College, Oriel, in Oxford back to Selborne to raise funds for our new project. Last Rosemary’s walk raised an amazing £23,000; and we hope to raise just as much this year.
Another supporter is Ronnie Davidson-Houston, Ronnie is a volunteer and patron who’s collected thousands of editions of The Natural History of Selborne, in 2010 he donated the entire collection to the Museum! Ronnie is also known for dressing up as the great man himself and is often seen at events in full Gilbert White costume!
We have some pretty amazing volunteers all in all! Far too many to thank individually in this blog, but here’s some examples… our sewing circle who have made us lots of eighteenth century style children’s costumes. We had some volunteers from the University of Surrey in our garden too… this group last November helped us to build a bed for our national collection of Pinks!
We also have an amazing group of staff! For example the two Rose’s… deputy head gardener Rose, shown here showcasing another great skill Wassailing! And Rose our catering manager who bakes all our amazing cakes on site! Usually for all you lucky visitors but this one we got to try! Yum!
The people at this museum do all sorts of things, look after the shop, finance, education, Josh is our Events and Collections manager but is also a dab hand at making Pimms when necessary and Keith here is part of the Garden Team, made this amazing hotbed!
Thanks for following our Museum Week on Twitter! Tomorrow’s theme is architecture and it’s a good one! One final note from us is thank you from (some of) our #PeopleMW