Leaving a Legacy: How you can help preserve the past for future generations: 

Since taking on the role of Director at the Museum of Cambridge in April, I have had the privilege of delving into the rich history of this remarkable institution, which has opened its doors to visitors, schools, and researchers since 1936. I particularly enjoyed reading about one of the very first visitors, who was so convinced by Museum’s recreation of a Victorian pub that he asked if he could order a pint of bitter!  

Alas, we have never quite managed functioning beer pumps (though I foster a not-so secret ambition to change that…!) Nonetheless, I am struck by the profound significance of our beloved cultural gem. We care for around 40,000 artefacts that reflect the unique and diverse social history of Cambridgeshire: from witch-bottles to Fenland farm tools to hand-sewn quilts. As custodians, we have also looked after the venerable White Horse Inn, with all its charmingly wonky floorboards, creaky staircases, and resident ghosts. We’ve provided a gateway for thousands of school children to immerse themselves in local history, inspiring future historians with its collection of local history objects.  Many thousands of visitors, whether from near or far, have passed through our doors, and we have been pleased to welcome each and every one of them. 

The Museum has become a familiar and reliable presence on the corner of Castle Street and Northampton Street, and it’s tempting to take the future of the Museum for granted. However, recent years have shown us how vulnerable museums and other cultural institutions can be to challenges including pandemics, rising costs, and environmental disasters. As Director, I know we cannot afford to take our future for granted. Safeguarding the Museum’s future requires all of us to act. The Museum of Cambridge needs your support. 

One of the most effective ways you can make a lasting impact is by leaving a legacy to the Museum in your will. In the past, the Museum has been fortunate to receive several legacies. These have had a significant impact, and we’re immensely grateful to those who choose to remember us in this way.  For example, one recent legacy gift will allow us to trial a relaunch of our school programme, so that we can once again welcome primary and secondary school pupils to the Museum. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to engage with young learners, and it is only possible thanks to the generosity of a kind supporter who remembered us in their will. 

Your support as a legator can truly make a difference to the long-term sustainability and impact of the Museum. If you are interested in discussing the possibility of leaving a legacy to the Museum, please feel free to reach out to me via phone at 01223 355159 or email at annie.davis@museumofcambridge.org.uk. For more information, you can also visit the legacies page on our website and download our leaflet.  

Leaving a Legacy: How you can help preserve the past for future generations: