Will Gloucester be sacrificed?

Published: Sunday, 22 August 2010

THERE is every possibility that the Gloucester Waterways Museum will be sacrificed for the sake of Ellesmere Port and Stoke Bruerne museums.

One of the many people now helping to keep the museums afloat explained on the BBC4 television programme that Gloucester may have to 'close its doors later this year', explaining that the museums had taken £100,000 more to run, even though it had shed many paid staff.

Lost the plot

The general consensus of opinion was that the senior management had 'lost the plot', with the man brought in to try and repair the damage stating that the Waterways Trust had failed the museums, pointing out that £300,000 was squandered on Ellesmere Port ripping out the heart of the museum by scrapping the old real exhibits and replacing them with fancy designs and modern technology, that have done nothing more than loose customers.

Even the original boatman's cabin that took pride of place was scrapped for a glass covered exhibit that gives no idea of how the boatmen and their families lived.


As to the collection of old boats at Ellesmere port, the man in charge told that boats live and boats die, and some are just wrecks that will never be restored, and so they have to go, either burnt or sunk.

Such is the commercial state of the museums that many long-standing staff are being sacrificed, with such as the manager of the shop at Ellesmere Port having to go after 20 years of service, all due, so many stated in the program, to mismanagement at the top.

'Kids are bored with it'

One of the volunteers told that people expected a museum to be just that, a place to see exhibits from the past—learn how people lived and worked, not such as 'the stuff at Ellesmere Port', adding that 'even the kids are bored with it', though it was supposedly intended for them.

So it seems the Gloucester Waterways Museum will soon close its doors, and from the many opinions given in the BBC programme, due to the mismanagement of the Waterways Trust.