Barnet Museum Closures

Further to my enquiry about a recent Barnet Council meeting, I received this press release from HADAS (Hendon and District Archaeological Society)

Closure of Church Farmhouse Museum and Barnet Museum

Barnet Council’s cabinet met on Monday 13th December and proposed the withdrawal of funding from the only two council-supported museums in the Borough; Barnet Museum and Church Farmhouse Museum. There will be a period of public consultation until 17th January 2011, and then a final recommendation by the cabinet in February.

The Borough of Barnet contains a long and rich history dating back to the Romans and beyond, and this has been a significant contributor over the years to the sense of community and coherence within Barnet. It is essential that this sense of history and community should continue if Barnet is not to become just another outskirt of the Metropolis, and these two museums are important factors in this. For example, in addition to its educational exhibitions, every year Church Farmhouse Museum in association with HADAS, the Barnet-based archaeologists, hosts demonstration excavations in its grounds for local schools. These have proved extremely popular and educational, helping the pupils gain an understanding of their history and that of Barnet.

Whilst we recognise the need to economise, the benefits to the Borough of keeping these museums open are out of all proportion to the relatively small sums of money involved, and we strongly oppose any suggestion of their closure.

For further comment contact:

Don Cooper
HADAS Chairman
www.hadas.org.uk

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2 Responses to “Barnet Museum Closures”

  1. Maggie Airey Says:

    This cut does seem to be cultural vandalism! The sums saved are miniscule – detailed in the local press for the Barnet Museum but not for the Church Farm Museum. Volunteers are used extensively – what happened to the Big Society? Has any thought been given to what happens to the Archives?

  2. Ampers Says:

    THIS IS MY OPINION AND IS NOT THE OPINION OF THE FINCHLEY ARROW

    Maggie, you have made a couple of good points here. But let me address one that seems to confuse people. The Big Society is YOU, not the Council or the Government. It is up to the people to get together and take over the running of these museums if they feel strongly enough about them.

    But I agree, that in the great scheme of things, the money required to run the museums is minuscule!

    And, of course, we need to know not only what is going to happen to the valuable archives and, in the case of the Church Farmhouse, the historic items of furniture, but whether funding can continue in the coming years or whether the Council intends to sell the buildings for extra funds.

    I would guess that the council will sell off what they can to other museums, and then sell the buildings to pay the salaries and expenses of the councillors and senior council executives for as long as possible.

    Remember, this is the council who tried to get away with increasing their expenses and gratuities in these troubled times and I base my assumptions on that, and that alone.


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