New levels of inventiveness were necessary to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Lockdown Shaftesbury. At least the Appleby family’s Big Ben was not cocooned in scaffolding. Contemporary Swing music, Churchill’s 3pm speech and an Aunt Sally sideshow contributed to the 1945 atmosphere, while Social Distancing was strictly observed.
Social Distancing also figured on the agenda of the first-ever virtual Trustees’ meeting of The S&DHS. A Risk Assessment indicated that while Social Distancing was set at 2 metres the capacity of the Garden Room would be limited to 10 persons. Small groups should be able to enter and exit this annexe of the Museum in comparative safety – when it is permitted. However the much-reduced capacity would have repercussions for events such as lectures and the Annual General Meeting. It was decided to move the AGM from Tuesday 07 July to the date and venue originally planned for the annual Teulon Porter Memorial Lecture, i.e. Shaftesbury Town Hall at 7p.m. on Tuesday 06 October. It might be possible to hold a lecture after the AGM. Time will tell.
For the foreseeable future Gold Hill Museum will remain closed. Even when cultural venues are allowed to re-open, the Trustees will have to consider how to operate the Museum safely, in terms of the circulation of visitors and the welfare of stewards (and Trustees), all of whom are volunteers.