Museum will not reopen this year, say trustees
PUBLISHED: 15:24 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 06 July 2020
A Norfolk museum has announced it will not be reopening this year saying it has to put the health of its visitors and 70-strong group of volunteers first.
The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum on RRH Neatishead near Horning has announced it will remain closed until April 2021.
The museum opened in 1994, attracts more than 9,500 visitors between April and November every year, and is listed as the fourth best museum in Norfolk on Tripadvisor.
Carl Lamb, one of the trustees and museum treasurer said the decision to remain closed this year had not been an easy one.
He said: “This decision was taken first and foremost in the interests of protecting the health of both volunteers and visitors.”
Mr Lamb, said the majority of the museum’s volunteers were aged over 60, which in light of the coronavirus pandemic, had been a considerable factor in the trustees’ decision to remain closed.
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“The decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we’re keeping all of our volunteers in the picture, some of our volunteers have been here for a long time,” he said.
Mr Lamb said because the museum was on an ex-military base trustees were “confined” in what changes they could make to the site to enable easy social distancing.
He said the museum would use the down time to carry out repairs to the site and exhibits.
“We need to re-tarmac the drive, bring some of the displays up to scratch and we’re are looking at ways to raise additional finances through crowdfunding,” he said.
Mr Lamb said while the museum had resources it could draw on to see it through until April 2021, being closed would have an impact.
“We have got resources but the day to day running of the museum costs money, we are not in dire financial straits but at the same time it’s got a financial impact.”
The Air Defence Radar Museum tracks the history of British air defence from 1935 through to present day.
RAF Neatishead was an active air defence control radar operations base from 1942 until 2004 when tactical operations at the site stopped and the base became Remote Radar Head (RRH) Neatishead.
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