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Horniman Museum Funding
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Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #1
16-11-2010 04:10 PM

THE Horniman Museum and Gardens, perched on a hill just off the South Circular, is one of the jewels in South London’s crown. It has graced Forest Hill for more than 100 years. Reporter Kate Gould spoke to museum director Janet Vitmayer about exciting plans to make its gardens a top-notch attraction...
SET in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum was founded by Victorian philanthropist and tea trader Frederick Horniman in 1901.
His vision to bring the whole world to Forest Hill has largely been realised, as today the museum proudly boasts a multitude of treasures in its natural history and anthropology collections.
But it is the fabulous and extensive gardens that are the current focus of attention for Horniman staff.
The gardens are often overlooked by visitors, which is why excitement is building ahead of work starting in January on a £2.3million makeover.
Museum director Janet Vitmayer says the overhaul is designed to bring the museum and gardens closer together and make them work in harmony.
She said: “The gardens project is hugely exciting and is the final phase of the project where we unite the museums and gardens physically so visitors can get from one to the other easily.
“We hope what we do in the gardens will draw people into the museum and vice versa, therefore developing the stories of our collections and exhibitions and linking the museum to the garden in a much better and more cohesive way.”
The museum’s rooms are full to the brim with all kinds of weird and wonderful objects, including a giant stuffed walrus and a 100-year-old albatross.
The plans for the gardens will see the renovation and relocation of key features, with views opened up and access and pathways improved.
The sunken garden will be refurbished to incorporate a water feature, along with a new specialist plants area.
A musical play area is planned – to represent the Horniman’s collection of instruments – as well as the creation of a community food garden.
Ms Vitmayer said: “The animal enclosure will be improved and will include a wildlife garden with mini-beasts, which will be great fun.
“There will also be a new pavilion created for the community, allowing us to have more activity-based things to do for all the family.”
As for the bandstand, Ms Vitmayer said: “I always regarded it as an eyesore, but it will be reglazed and brought back to its original splendour, which will be fantastic.
“The views from the terrace will also be opened up and there will be more trees planted and better seating.
“I hope when it’s complete the average stay of visitors will rise from its current two hours to something approaching a full day, as it should become more of a day-out destination.”
Despite the challenging economic climate, raising cash for the ambitious project has been possible, which Ms Vitmayer believes is a testament to the museum’s popularity.
This means only £50,000 remains to be raised from the initial £2.3million target.
The museum, which had 750,000 visitors in the past year, counts TV gardener Joe Swift, comedian Arthur Smith and even legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough among its supporters.
Ms Vitmayer said: “I walk through the gardens and museum every day and I love being in an environment full of such amazing things.
“At the moment my favourite is a giant albatross, which was in our substantial stored collection but is now out on display.
“He’s very impressive, but fun, and a huge magnet for children. He is about 100 years old.
It’s fantastic to have such a strong offer for the public.
“The museum and gardens are varied, interesting and fun, and this project will make them even more so. It’s going to be brilliant.”
A carol concert is being staged at the Horniman Museum and Gardens to help raise the final £50,000.
The event will take place on Sunday, December 12, from 3pm to 6pm, with the concert starting at 5pm in the bandstand area.
The afternoon will also feature lots of family-friendly entertainment, including Christmas crafts, charity stalls and Santa’s grotto – and the museum cafe will also be open.

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Messages In This Topic
Horniman Museum Funding - SpringCat - 16-11-2010 04:10 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - admin - 17-11-2010, 09:50 PM
RE: Horniman Museum Funding - roz - 17-11-2010, 09:57 PM
RE: Horniman Museum Funding - michael - 18-11-2010, 10:00 AM
RE: Horniman Museum Funding - SpringCat - 18-11-2010, 02:42 PM
RE: Horniman Museum Funding - michael - 18-11-2010, 02:55 PM
RE: The horniman museum - admin - 16-11-2010, 05:58 PM
RE: The horniman museum - michael - 16-11-2010, 10:25 PM
RE: The horniman museum - ForestHillier - 17-11-2010, 08:54 AM
RE: The horniman museum - SpringCat - 17-11-2010, 11:15 AM
RE: The horniman museum - ForestHillier - 17-11-2010, 01:17 PM
RE: The horniman museum - SpringCat - 17-11-2010, 01:20 PM
RE: The horniman museum - SpringCat - 17-11-2010, 02:01 PM
RE: The horniman museum - nevermodern - 17-11-2010, 03:33 PM
RE: The horniman museum - michael - 17-11-2010, 04:21 PM
RE: The horniman museum - SpringCat - 17-11-2010, 04:27 PM
Horniman Museum - davhel52 - 17-11-2010, 04:52 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - michael - 17-11-2010, 05:05 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - davhel52 - 17-11-2010, 05:16 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - davhel52 - 17-11-2010, 05:17 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - davhel52 - 17-11-2010, 05:25 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - davhel52 - 17-11-2010, 05:36 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - michael - 17-11-2010, 07:01 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - brian - 17-11-2010, 08:00 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - roz - 17-11-2010, 08:45 PM
RE: Horniman Museum - michael - 17-11-2010, 09:26 PM
RE: The horniman museum - DerbyHillTop - 17-11-2010, 09:21 PM

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