Museum goes from strength to strength

PUBLISHED: 16:47 06 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010

TALK about from small acorns. It was 30 years ago this week that the Royston and District Museum was officially opened. In those days the collection was restricted to two rooms in Royston Town Hall, but it had all the makings of growing into an important

TALK about from small acorns.

It was 30 years ago this week that the Royston and District Museum was officially opened.

In those days the collection was restricted to two rooms in Royston Town Hall, but it had all the makings of growing into an important venture, and eventually it was transferred to its current building in Kneesworth Street.

The project was the brainchild of the Royston and District Local History Society - and it was the members' determination and enthusiasm which enabled the museum to be established.

Obviously, it was on a small-scale, but Peter Ketteringham, one of the original trustees - and still so today -- remembers people arriving with boxes of items to be included in the collection.

Phil Smith, who was trustee 30 years ago and, like Mr Ketteringham, is still now, said after a meeting last week of the Royston Town Council's museum sub-committee that it was obvious the project would be a success.

Thirty years ago, too, there were people of the same mind, and the setting-up of the museum was seen as an ambitious venture which it was hoped would be emulated elsewhere.

The museum came about through a partnership between the society and North Herts District Council's museum services department, and was virtually 11 years in the making.

During the opening ceremony, a tape of The Hollow Oak was played. This had been performed when the town hall opened as the Royston Institute in 1870.

In a report at the time, The Crow said: "It is not intended that the present premises should be a permanent home for the museum, but that when financial conditions improve, the setting up and staffing of a permanent museum will be possible."

History has proved that the words from that report on Friday, July 2, 1976 have turned into reality.

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