Weston's heritage and history

THERE has been concern expressed during the last year about threats to the future of the North Somerset Museum.

THERE has been concern expressed during the last year about threats to the future of the North Somerset Museum.

This is not the only museum which should be of concern to Weston residents.

For 180 years the Bristol Museum, now Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, has been the chief repository for this region of Britain. Many items of Weston's heritage and history are stored there, with appropriate items being accessible to public view.

There are substantial collections of natural history, geology and archaeology; for example the insect collections of two prominent Weston entomologists, CSH Blathwayt and Ken Poole are held there.


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At present a 'review' is being carried out of Bristol's museum service with a change of emphasis in favour of the 'visual arts'.

A new Museum of Bristol is being established with the aid of Heritage lottery funding, but the continuing cost of staffing both museums will fall largely on Bristol City Council.

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Museum collections take up space and need curation, otherwise they deteriorate. With changes in local authorities over time support from Government is needed for places with regional importance. The worry is that with the shift in emphasis there will be less resources available to look after our heritage.

A meeting of 'stakeholders' was called on April 20 which did not inspire confidence. It was arranged at very short notice, invitations being received late last week. The meeting was held in the Colston Hall, and in the foyer were angry would-be participants who were denied entry.

The meeting was poorly arranged in a building where it was difficult to hear what speakers were saying.

Current staff at the Museum were not invited and denied entry, apparently those whose jobs are at stake and not considered stakeholders.

DR DAVID AGASSIZ

Stafford Place, Weston

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