Sunday, March 08, 2009

Simon Costin's plans for a Museum of British Folklore

This weekend we're having a lovely visit from our friends Simon Costin & Marti Bogie and much merriment has been had. Marti is a dancer with Mad Jack's Morris down in Hastings and Simon is a well known set designer. Simon is involved in an amazing project at the moment - he is planning to open The Museum of British Folklore and has just started his fund raising activities. The website is currently under construction but will be open soon. He is looking for premises for the museum so if anyone knows of any fab buildings crying out to be turned into a large museum let us know. Contact Simon via his website for details. Here is a little of what he is trying to achieve:

"I intend to establish a permanent collection and national exhibition centre that celebrates and promotes the Folk Culture of the British Isles. In 2008, I actively met curators, small museum directors and archivists responsible for existing folk collections throughout the country. My research also bought me into contact with the Charity Commission, several fundraising consultants and individual practitioners, writers and musicians, so as to gain a fuller understanding of what might be involved in the programming and day-to-day operation of a small museum. I have drawn up a number of diverse policies and agendas, which would affect the operation of such an institution, ranging from Health and Safety issues to Child Protection, Equal Opportunities to Financial Management Control in addition to the crucial Mission Statement for the museum.
The year 2009 marks an exciting stage in the progress toward the opening of the museum. At the present time, it would appear that the museum would operate as a Community Interest Company. Fundraising will begin in earnest in April of this year, as I take to the roads of Britain in a converted 1976 Castleton caravan, adapted specially to be a traveling Folk Museum in miniature. A taste of what is to come. I shall be touring the country to attend Folk festivals and events countrywide to raise awareness for the project. During my travels, I will compile a mailing list, discover what visitors to the caravan could donate to the collection, share their oral histories and experiences, and generally promote the future museum via coverage in local and national newspapers, television and radio.
A full itinerary of the tour will be posted in the news section of the website, and will be updated as I progress around the country. Reports from each event will be posted on the website's journal in due course."

We wish him well. Keep an eye out for the touring museum at Folk Festivals throughout the year.

1 comment:

Roger Holmes, Cornish Bureau for European Relations said...

I love the idea of a museum of British Folklore but please remember too that folklore is something that links all the peoples of Europe from far east to far west. For example, water cults such as well-dressing; horse cults eg Padstow, South Wales, Dingle, southern France etc; the use of Lily o the Valley; mermaids; and so on. Thus an appreciation of our common European folkloric heritage can be a foundation for a more social, friendly and cooperative rather than destructively competitive Europe.