After something of an enforced hiatus caused by Covid-19, it’s a delight to be relaunching the Friends of the Museum of Cambridge.
Becoming a Friend is a great way to become more involved with the Museum – Friends receive some great benefits too, including free admission to the Museum, free entry to our events, and a 15% discount in the Museum Shop.
But more than this, the Friends play a crucial role in supporting the Museum – as they have done since at least the 1980s.
I’m grateful to Jan Wheeler for passing on a history of the Friends written by Pamela Fry in 2013. After, it seems, some initial reluctance from the Museum’s Curator in the early 1980s, and something of a ‘false start’ in 1982-84, a Friends group was finally set up in 1989, aiming, according to its founding document, ‘to support the work of the Museum by stimulating interest in the collection and by providing financial assistance’.
And the Friends lived up to this aim. Pamela Fry’s wonderful history records marmalade mornings, piano recitals, cream teas, bric-a-brac sales and many other events, which together raised thousands of pounds over the years to support the Museum’s work.
The truth is that no organisation like the Museum of Cambridge can survive without its Friends. Over the last 18 months – perhaps more than ever before – we have needed the help of our supporters in Cambridge and around the world: the Museum’s survival through lockdown is thanks to our many generous friends and supporters.
But beyond this, Friends can help the Museum improve and help us do more. Over the years, the generous support of our Friends has allowed the Museum to acquire new objects and take better care of the objects already in the collection. Support from Friends can extend the work we’re able to do with children and community groups. Friends help us spread the word about the Museum, bringing more visitors through our doors. And Friends can be a wonderful sounding board, letting us know what’s working well and what can be improved.
If you’re already a Friend, we should have been in touch with you via email or through the post. If you haven’t heard from us, do drop us a line – we might not have up-to-date contact information for everyone, especially if you’ve recently moved.
If you’re not a Friend already, then please consider joining today. You’ll receive a wonderful little welcome pack, free entry to the Museum and to events, and a discount in the shop. But much more than that, you’ll be helping the Museum tell the extraordinary stories of everyday Cambridge(shire) people better than ever before.
This post was written by Matt Hann, a Trustee at the Museum of Cambridge.