Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Richard Jefferies Museum plans expansion

Much has changed at the Richard Jefferies Museum in Swindon since I visited it in 2009.

Here is the Swindon Advertiser:
Mike Pringle, along with poet and cultural event organiser Hilda Sheehan, took over the running of the Richard Jefferies Museum about a decade ago. 
At the time, the museum devoted to the passionate Victorian nature writer was attracting perhaps 800 visitors per year. 
Last year there were about 15,000.
This increase in visitor numbers arises from the museum being open more often and its use as an arts venue.

Welcome as it is, this rise is putting strains on the museum, particularly in bad weather.

The museum occupies the farmhouse in which Jefferies was born and there are now plans for a new building on the site once occupied by its cowshed.

I rather liked it when the museum was a secret known only to a few, but Jefferies deserves to much better known. (Come to think of it, I am meant to be writing a little book on him for David Boyle.)

And I like what Pringle says to the Advertiser:
"For us, if a kid sits under the mulberry tree here, they’re sitting under the same mulberry tree, experiencing the same things that Jefferies did, and that’s much richer than trying to persuade a child to read a bit of Victorian text."

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