Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

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Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Mark » 03 Jun 2014 20:53

It is with great sadness that we hear that the Royal Artillery's Firepower Museum is to close. While the Victorian Wars Forum does not normally get involved in politics, I feel it is appropriate to mention to the membership that an online petition has been started in an attempt to save it. If you would like to sign the petition please visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/64840

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby colsjt65 » 03 Jun 2014 21:45

Love to help, but when I tried to sign the petition, it wouldn't let me because you must be a British resident or citizen. I visited the museum two years ago, dragging my wife all the way there, quite a long trip by tube and light rail. Well worth the effort. Disgusted that the beancounters despise honouring their military so much.
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Brett Hendey » 04 Jun 2014 06:53

Mark

It is shocking to read that such an important museum is to close, more so because the museum is in the UK. I expect such news out of Africa, where I live, but not of a civilised country with such a rich historical legacy.

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby GrantRCanada » 05 Jun 2014 02:15

I experienced the same problem when I tried after being alerted on another forum - i.e. not being allowed to proceed because I am not a UK citizen or resident.

WHAT? .... "British Subjects" throughout the rest of the Commonwealth have no rights? :o :shock: :x :roll:
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Mark » 05 Jun 2014 09:54

I think the requirement of being a British citizen is due to the fact that when 100,000 signatures are received the UK Parliament is legally obliged to debate the issue. As such the Government see it as an issue for UK citizens only. However, it is a great shame since many visitors to the museum and others with an interest in it will of course come from across the world.

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Brett Hendey » 06 Jun 2014 06:59

My younger son is a naturalised Briton living in the UK and he has signed the petition. I wish it was also possible for me to sign, since I am an "Empire Loyalist".

My understanding has been that all items donated to, or otherwise acquired by the national museums of the UK are to be preserved in perpetuity and, where possible, to be displayed for public viewing. All accessioned items, whether on view or in storage, are to be available to the public for the purposes of genuine academic research.

Alienating accessioned materials from national museums, at least in the UK, should be an impossibility. The Elgin Marbles in the British Museum are a case in point. Not even the intervention of the Greek Government has managed to secure their repatriation to Greece.

I would be interested in finding out the stand being taken by the British Museums Association on the proposed closure of the Firepower Museum.

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Sheffsteve » 06 Jun 2014 09:24

You are quite right re. National museums Brett. However, Firepower is not a National museum. All National museums in the UK have free entry and when I visited Firepower last year there was definitely a charge. I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to go now.
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Lucknow57 » 06 Jun 2014 11:35

I am shocked to hear this news. I have only just completed an e-mail to the museum librarian not knowing this is happening. Do you know where everything will go, in particular the Victoria Cross and Indian Mutiny Medal awarded to my GGG Uncle Jacob Thomas VC ? I still haven't seen the medals yet. It looks as if I need to ask them some questions?
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Les Waring » 06 Jun 2014 13:15

Lucknow57

I understand and share your concern re Jacob Thomas's V.C. and IMM. The Fire Power website states that a small, representative 'heritage' collection will be retained at the present site, and that could well include valuable, but not space occupying material, such as VC s and accompanying medals.

I'm more worried about the painting of J.T's VC action, only having rather poor quality photos of it myself. As you know we have no photo of him. It's a possibility (my guess) that this, along with some of the other pre-20th C. material may go to the NAM, but how much of that would be on public display?

The museum is, apparently, not closing immediately so it would be a good idea to get down there asap, having tried to arrange some sort of meeting with their staff beforehand.

I'm not currently in a position to visit UK at present and will therefore have to follow events at a distance and with considerable anxiety.

Good Luck

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Frogsmile » 07 Jun 2014 23:25

I signed the petition yesterday after reading of the proposed closure with some sadness.

At the time when money was being raised, and a bid made to the Heritage Lottery to fund the opening of the museum, I was based at Woolwich, in Artillery Barracks, where the project team was based. I recall all the proposals and the great efforts to raise funds, not least from the serving regiments.

Woolwich Arsenal was one of two sites proposed for the museum and people were quite divided as to the best location in order to get the most visitors. It was realised even then that visitor numbers were going to be the lifeblood of the whole scheme. The other location was Larkhill, on Salisbury Plain, immediately adjacent to Stonehenge, where it was known that a brand new visitor centre was to be built. The Larkhill advocates felt that as Stonehenge was a world heritage site, with huge numbers of visitors, it was a no-brainer to locate the Firepower Museum there to catch the visitors from the adjacent focus.

The Woolwich advocates were obsessed with being near to the Royal Artillery Barracks (with the longest Georgian façade in Europe), the (then) ruin of the old Royal Military Academy, and the various heritage buildings in the old Royal Arsenal. They seemed to ignore that that part of South London was a sink area, with an increasingly diverse population of mainly immigrant origin, who had little interest in the British historical heritage around them. In the end the Woolwich 'option' won the day. The Larkhill advocates were remarkably prescient and predicted exactly what would eventually happen.

The rest, as they say, is history! I know a good many people who will be saying....we told you so. It was always going to be about location, location, location.
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Mark » 08 Jun 2014 22:49

Lets hope the ePetition attracts enough signatures for it to be debated in Parliament. However, at the time of posting this there are only just over 2,000. So a long way to go yet!

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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Lucknow57 » 09 Jun 2014 16:44

Besides applying my e-signature to the petition I have made my own personal enquiry to the museum to express my concerns, in particular my ancestors medal collection. I am informed the Royal Regiment of Artillery will create a new sustainable public access museum, location to be confirmed. The Medals collection will form an important part of the new museum. There are plans for a quote;- 'Permanent Royal Artillery exhibition in a combined heritage centre adjacent to the current site at Woolwich'. During the transition period I expect some artefacts may be placed in storage?
There is a statement dated 26 May 2014 from the Chairman of the Royal Artillery Museum Board on the following link:-
http://www.firepower.org.uk/index.php/2 ... eum-board/
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby Lucknow57 » 09 Jun 2014 16:49

It doesn't look as if my previous post is permitting access to the link. My apologies? :?:
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Re: Royal Artillery Firepower Museum to Close

Postby AlanD » 22 Jun 2014 04:07

I have just signed the petition. I am a British citizen and live in Australia , the form would not accept my Aussie post code, so I had to put in a UK one which I happened to know.

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