THE WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY MUSEUM APPEAL
Since the Museum was opened in 1981 by the then Mayor of Warwick - Councillor
Mrs. Sheila Rouse and the Chairman of the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trust – Colonel Michael Haycock CBE, it has grown from strength to strength, achieving Accreditation in 2009. Today it is recognised as a rich treasure trove of artefacts and documents covering the history of the Regiment since its formation in 1794.
The Museum is completely supported by volunteers and it’s our aim to safeguard the heritage and collective memory of those who have served in the Warwickshire Yeomanry so that present and future generations may learn the importance of the present through its history.
A Museum Board of Trustees, through the Office of the Museum Secretary and Principal Curator, oversee the administration of the day to day running of the Museum in accordance with the strict guidelines of its Trust Deed. Despite the Museum being open to the public it receives no public funding and as such relies on voluntary subscriptions, and donations made by the visiting public in a collection box. Other sources do include Grants made from Charities dedicated to the continued existence of Military Museums but these cannot be used for capital projects but rather to purchase new items for display or to conserve existing exhibits with specialist restorers.
During its opening hours the Museum is in the hands of ‘voluntary curators and guides’ who are drawn from the Queen’s Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry and the Friends of the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum. Since the Museum opened the number of visitors has steadily increased to the present day level of 6000 plus. Our Museum website has also received some 6000 ‘hits’ since its inception in 2010. These are no mean achievements for a voluntary aided Museum.
The Warwick Town Council and the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trust have recently made a successful bid for Heritage Lottery Funding to enable significant renovations to be made to the Court House in Jury Street, Warwick which is a Grade 1 Listed Building. This work will include a new heating system, improved ventilation and damp proofing, new lighting and security cameras. Most importantly a new lift is being installed, as the main entrance, accessible to all and which, together with the development of more space, will enable more of the story of the Warwickshire Yeomanry to be told as part of the Warwick Town project – ‘Unlocking Warwick’.
The majority of the Museum’s exhibits are now packed away to enable the renovations to take place and the Museum will remain closed until a special opening ceremony is held in late 2013. During the interim period there is now an opportunity to improve further the fabric of the Museum and the way our exhibits are displayed and our archives maintained.
The display cases, together with all their associated special fittings and lighting, require redesigning to ensure that they not only conform to all the latest Regulations but at the same time meet the requirements of the Museum for the foreseeable future. The cost of this work will not be covered by the main ‘Unlocking Warwick’ Project funding and will have to be met from our own Regimental Museum Trust Funds.
We estimate that £50,000 will be required to complete all the projects identified and ensure that the Museum is able to display and maintain all its exhibits and records in the most professional way.
We very much hope that you will support this appeal as generously as possible and thus help to continue to preserve an important part of our Warwickshire military heritage. You may be interested in sponsoring the purchase of a particular display case or similar item, details of which are set out separately. A record of your individual or collective sponsorship would then be displayed on the case concerned and in the entrance to the Museum.
If you have any questions relative to our Appeal then please do not hesitate to contact us through the Town Clerk’s Office.
Councillor Mrs. Elizabeth Higgins,
Mayor of Warwick
Major DG Hardy TD Chairman – Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Appeal.