More to me than pleasant memories

I CURRENTLY live in Portsmouth, but grew up in Clevedon. I now work as a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth within the School of Architecture.

I CURRENTLY live in Portsmouth, but grew up in Clevedon. I now work as a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth within the School of Architecture.

I am writing about the planned closure of North Somerset Museum. As a child, growing up in North Somerset with very little money, my mum would take me to North Somerset Museum as a treat that was affordable.

It is hard to measure the impact that a museum can have on someone's life, but more often than not they can be life-changing.

These childhood visits mean more to me than pleasant memories. I became interested in history and after my first degree went on to work in museums for the following decade. I owe them my career.


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During my experience of working in museums I had the pleasure of working with local communities and seeing first-hand the impact that they have on people's self-esteem, their understanding of their place in the world, feeling of belonging to a particular place. I've seen people make friends for life, discover things about their family that they never knew before, share memories with younger generations, learn new skills and have a great time.

It would be a short-sighted tragedy for North Somerset to lose its only museum. With a bit of imagination, I'm sure this isn't the only possible solution. Plenty of museums around the country operate with the help of volunteers, have transformed to trust status, or have been successful in raising funds. By making the decision to close, you are not allowing the possibility for these options to be explored.

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The inspirational power of museums is well documented. Please don't deny the people of North Somerset this opportunity - particularly your young people.

BRYONY WHITMARSH

Jessie Road

Southsea

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