The Museum will remain closed
until further notice ... and we have no date.
I was hoping against hope that we would not have to post anything remotely like what I'm going to say now.
But it really does now seem we are not winning, on any front. The next hoped for proposed re-opening date was the Battle of Britain weekend, in mid September. But the chances of that being achievable is receeding now - almost by the hour. The new rule that masks will have to be worn, by staff and visitors alike, in museums and galleries most certainly will also apply to us.
As well as social distancing, there will have to be a rigid cleaning regime with all the hard work that would entail, not just voluntarily, but a legally enforcable requirement with insurance implications if we were to get it wrong. I personally could not wear a mask constantly for the four hours I am usually there, and wouldn't expect anyone else to either.
On balance, I think we are looking at not just the New Year, like after Christmas, but more realistically, we're in serious danger of not re-opening until next March. In other words, we'd have had a whole year out of it, not only with no visitors but also with no income, and also in a building that is deteriorating just by being out of use.
I say all that whilst bearing in mind, yes, many thousands of folks have already died, even more have lost their jobs and incomes, and a good many businesses have failed altogether. And there will be a great deal more of all that before this is over. In the wider realm of things, our troubles are small beer, and we'll get no sympathy from those who have already lost a great deal.
But it is a worry now that we are in serious danger of losing our little museum altogether, if only for want of enough volunteers should it ever be deemed safe enough to open it again. Things were just starting to improve on that score, with several very welcome new volunteers to add to our ageing numbers back in March. But Covid, and age, is doing us no good at all, I'm sorry to say. By the time we get to next March, I'll likely have forgotten which keys open which doors!
All the best to Everyone, wherever in the world you are, from all of us at the Sutton & Wawne Museum.
It is very quiet in the Old School Museum
Even the mice have gone to sleep
Nothing moves, and all is still .. ..
No sounds, no laughter, not even a peep.
But hark, is that a creak .. ?
Of a squeaky floor or a wooden door ...
... a softly closing desk lid enhancing
the echos of children, long, long, past -
in gentle laughter and the joys of dancing.
For if we stand, and listen, so very quietly
We can hear in those very rafters
their joyful songs, and a glee that lasts
and will still be sensed by those
who come here in years long after ...
long after we all have long since passed.
© 2020 . . . Sutton & Wawne Museum
These images were taken by Eric Johnson for the Dominoes series
of teaching books. Our own collection of the series is incomplete, and so these have been supplied from scans done by Amanda Denwood who now lives in Cumbria. Amanda visited the museum last year, and noted which books were missing, and offered to scan the missing ones for us from her own collection.
For folks longing for a semblance of the past,
even the distant past in that far off childhood country
called Nostalgialand, we have a few copies of a new
book to offer, by former Sutton resident and long-time
friend of our museum, Andrew Suddaby.
More general to Britain, but with nods to some
Hull memories that are not specific to Sutton,
this short book in a nice sized font for easy reading
is a general tour of what we did, watched,
and listened to in the UK years ago.
Priced at £7.00 including UK postage only
it will be on offer inside the museum for £5 when we re-open.
Sorry, overseas postage cannot be offered right now,
and in anycase, the cost would probably exceed the book.
BEWARE SCAMMERS ... THIEVES ... VAGABONDS !
Seriously, I kid you not. Thieves are already hard at work trying to defraud and cheat older folk, and all others having to self-isolate, out of considerable amounts of money. And they are succeeding!
Gangs have been working in some areas, posing as Red Cross or other charity workers, knocking on doors and offering to do the shopping. You may guess, you will get no shopping. Trust no one you do not know, or anyone you cannot quickly trace to a local address or business.
Likewise, with this new contact tracing situation, a 'service' that is ripe for exploitation and vast amounts of thievery if ever there was one. We have to have it, no question about that, but don't fall for phone call tricks telling you that you need to isolate, but first 'need to ring a number' for further details. There's plenty of advice online as to which numbers are genuine, and if you do fall for a scam, ringing 'their number' will cost you a pretty penny, make no mistake. The genuine number is 0300 013 5000.
Similarly with phone scams. If you don't know the number, then don't pick up. If you don't have Caller ID, listen carefully and do not give away any personal details whatsoever. Not banking, not even your address. If you are already ex-directory, these scammers do not know where you live, unless you tell them. All they have is a number to ring and try their luck. Even if you are in the book, they will still not be sure they have the right number, as a lot of them are using old and out-of-date lists.
IF YOU DO NEED HELP, with shopping or anything else; my best advice and your first ports of call should be:
have lots of options for help.