Saddleworth Museum and Gallery launches new website to meet new challenges
On Friday 20th March, as part of the UK government actions against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, museums and art galleries were among the first instructed to close. On the 4th July Saddleworth Museum began working hard on meeting the strict, conditional, specific guidance and regulations provided by both the Departments: – for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Since July we have seen, and are still experiencing, several more restrictions affecting museums at both national and local level.
At the time of writing, Saddleworth Museum & Gallery, in Uppermill, may be able to re-open in November in a very restricted way and we have had to plan for a quite different medium term future to have any chance of surviving. We believe very much that is worth saving a museum that continues to preserve, conserve and showcase Saddleworth’s past for future generations and will also continue, once we are beyond the pandemic, as a local resource for meetings, lectures, events, art exhibitions and educational activities.
Some of these decisions, such as the disappearance of our community and schools dedicated learning and education resource have been painful. We will be relying even more heavily on the wonderful support of our “Friends” of the Museum association and the local community. Together with Urban Haze we have developed a new version of our existing website (http://www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk/ ) which launches on 1st October 2020.
The new website enables an appointments system so people can still tour (Covid compliant of course) the museum galleries, on-line shopping, joining our monthly lottery (the 200+ club) and joining our Friends of the Museum group. We will also be able to link more successfully with our Facebook page as, hopefully, we extend our range of current products and services (e.g. virtual family research and art exhibitions). Old website favourites, such as a free on-line quiz to help solve a 200-year-old murder, our “virtual” tour and our contact and donate buttons remain. The new website will also be better able to link to Facebook and other social media platforms when, eventually, we are able to sell tickets to our public events and beyond into the post pandemic future.
We invite all those with internet access to explore our main improved website and Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/SaddleworthMuseumAndArtGallery/ ) and any support you can provide by donations or joining one of our fund raisers at this most difficult of times would be most appreciated . We are a registered charity and an independent, fully accredited, museum with a wonderful community space and art gallery currently underused As always, the Friends of Saddleworth Museum will continue to look after those with, or without, access to the internet and you can also join the “Friends” by writing to: – the Friends Membership Secretary, Saddleworth Museum, High Street, Uppermill, Near Oldham, Saddleworth, West Yorkshire. OL3 6HS