Gold Hill Museum will not open to the public for the new season at the beginning of April. On Monday 16 March the Secretary of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society emailed members to say that the Trustees had decided to cancel (or perhaps postpone) the ‘Edwardian Shaftesbury’ Tea and Talks event scheduled for 07 April. As the Society’s first priority must be to safeguard the health of its members, volunteers and visitors, the Trustees had also decided to delay the reopening of Gold Hill Museum until they were satisfied that there was minimal risk of the transmission of coronavirus. This anticipated any Government announcement later in the week.
In a spirit of optimism, the Secretary continued: ‘When the Society is able to resume its public activities, you can be assured that there will be plenty to see and do. There will be two new temporary exhibitions in the Museum, including one focusing on the making of the renowned Hovis advert by Ridley Scott in 1973. A full lecture programme for the 2020-21 winter season is already in place, starting with the Teulon Porter Lecture in Shaftesbury Town Hall on Tuesday 06 October. As there is a US Presidential Election in November 2020, involving one of the most controversial occupants of The White House, we are delighted to be welcoming perhaps the leading British scholar of modern American History, Professor Tony Badger, to offer his insights.
At the moment preparations for the summer outing on Tuesday 02 June to Great Chalfield Manor are on hold. In the meantime work behind the scenes will continue at Gold Hill Museum, with investment in new technology in both displays and the shop. We will of course suffer a loss of income (principally from visitor donations) by not reopening on 01 April and we hope that you will continue to lend your support via membership of The S&DHS.
The Trustees wish all of you well in these unprecedented times.’