The Waterworks Museum, which re-opened in early July, will host fewer Working Days in 2021 than in previous years. This is a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic which saw the closure of the Museum for 16 months.
Chairman, Richard Curtis, said: ‘Closing the Museum for so long had two major impacts on the operation of the Museum. It seriously depleted our financial reserves, but it also saw a number of experienced volunteers, especially engineers, stepping back from volunteering. We’ve done well in recruiting new people but we need more support, and we need time to train our new volunteers so we can open the Museum safely.’
As a consequence, for the foreseeable future the Waterworks Museum will only hold one working day a month, when all engines can be seen working. For details of these days please see our website (www.waterworksmuseum.org.uk) or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@WaterworkMuseum).
To compensate for this the Directors have agreed to trial two initiatives.
This week Museum volunteers hosted a Working Day on Tuesday for the first time in around twenty years. It proved to be very popular with visitors and, as a result, the Museum will hold a #SteamUpTuesday event in the October 2021 school half-term. Events will also be held across the school holidays in 2022, one in each half term and at Easter and two in the summer holiday.
The second trial initiaive, will see a Working Day held in November and December 2021, after the end of the usual season of working days which has traditionally closed at the end of October.
Director – Visitor Services & Experience, Neil Atkins, said: ‘The Covid pandemic has been a trigger for directors to review the operating model of the Waterworks Museum and trial using the valuable time given by our volunteers in new and more flexible ways. This is a different way of working and an exciting time for new volunteers to join our team.’
Details of volunteering opportunities can be found on the website: www.waterworksmuseum.org.uk/support/volunteering.
The Waterworks Museum is open one day a week, every Tuesday from 11am to 4pm, which is when visitors can see our engineers maintaining the engines and pumps and just a few engines and pumps in operation (but not in our steam bay).
The next Museum Working Day when visitors can see nearly all engines and pumps in operation will be Sunday 26 September 2021 (from 11am to 4pm)