Shipston Museum set to move to new venue thanks to local enthusiasm
Shipston Museum is set to move to a new venue thanks to the combined efforts of the Shipston on Stour and District Local History Society, Shipston Town Council and the Ashley family.
Shipston Town Council has agreed to lease Old Clark House to the History Society at a peppercorn rent, subject to a formal lease being agreed. Old Clark House has already been hosting a photographic exhibition - a project championed by the town council’s Heritage, Amenity and Leisure Projects (HALP) Working Group. This new arrangement will see the exhibition expand to encompass all the treasures collected by the History Society since it formed in the 1960s.
Shipston has benefited from a museum since the 1970s, thanks in large part to the generosity of the late Mike Ashley and his family who have provided a venue to house the growing collection of artefacts from the local area over the last 20 years. Mike and fellow historian, Dick Burge, regularly opened the museum to the public and passed on the stories accompanying many of the museums’ exhibits.
Moving to a new venue will allow the museum to grow and be more accessible to residents and visitors. The photographic exhibition has already attracted people from far and wide – including a lady from America who was here on her honeymoon! The new venue will be led by the History Society, with support from the HALP working group and volunteers.
Bekky Hillman, local archaeologist and Director of the Shipston on Stour and District Local History Society, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have the town council’s support in giving Shipston Museum a new home. The History Society has collected a vast array of interesting artefacts that tell a fascinating story about Shipston’s past and it’s wonderful that more residents and tourists will soon be able to enjoy these exhibits.”
Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “As a local council, we are really proud to be able to invest in preserving our town’s history by giving Shipston’s History Society the opportunity to carry on the fantastic work started by Mike Ashley and Dick Burge. There are legalities that need to be completed but we are looking forward to seeing Shipston Museum open its new doors as soon as possible.”
The new museum venue will be open to visitors as soon as practically possible. In the meantime, the photographic exhibition will continue to be open at Old Clark House, West Street, on Thursdays and Fridays from 1-4pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm