News Desk

Visits to the Museum:
For the second year running we had three classes from Ricards Lodge High School in Wimbledon visit the Museum as part of their GCSE Course in history. They combined their visits to us with a visit to Merton Abbey Mills, learning about Arthur Liberty and William Morris and block printing in the Wandle Valley. The students enjoyed their day, especially their free time at Merton Abbey Mills in the lunch break when I gather McDonald's at the Savacentre was the main attraction! We shall be having 2 classes from Poplar School in Morden later on in November for their first Textiles Workshop visits.

Outreach (Wandle Clean Up Day):
Link to large image
On12 August this year, the Daily Telegraph ran an Article headed "William Morris masterpiece found after 80 years in Outback. The picture is from the paper. The connection appears to be that this piece was made 112 years ago for a member of the Sanderson family, who helped popularise the William Morris designs [Full size image 13.6kb]
This year we were posted at the Watermeads site.

I understand from our organiser Ellen Eames that this year's event was much reduced by the continual heavy rain, but those who did turn up achieved much in the time available, and were able to recover their strength at the William Morris pub afterwards to share experiences with those dealing with other sites down the river. Thanks to all stalwarts who turned up!

Groundwork Merton - the Wandle Route:
Following the item in the last newsletter, members Ray Leyden and Nicholas Hart, with Colin Saunders of Walkwise, met with Groundwork Merton to discuss their plans for the ‘enhancement of the existing walking and cycling route along the Wandle'(sic). As a museum dedicated to the promotion of the Wandle Trail we are cautiously welcoming of this move. Cautious, because, like Colin, we fear that cyclists may prove a deterrent or danger to walkers, and any encouragement may be counterproductive, but welcoming for the extension of the client base that this may afford. The proposals are for a gravel based surface, which should keep the wilder cycling elements at bay.

M=Merton Priory/Merton Abbey Mills:
See article below. The open days on the site of the dig have been a welcome chance to see the progress being made, and to hear the commitment of those carrying on the excavations. Watch local press for details of any further open days.

Investing in Volunteers:
The Working Group has now started up again and several Policies and Procedures have been rewritten or updated to take into account the skills and opportunities of all our Volunteers. Thanks go to Nicholas Hart and Ellen Eames who have put in many hours of time towards achieving this goal.

Members Events:
Past:: TThe Annual General Meeting in October at the Snuff Mill proved very successful in its new timing of over the Lunch Hour. This was at the request of our Chairman, Rev. Andrew Wakefield, who is a football follower. In the event I think everyone was indebted to him, as we all got home in time to see the England match! Chris Heels gave us a very interesting illustrated lecture on "The River Wandle in Morden Hall Park" .Mary Hart provided us with splendid lunchtime refreshments and the Raffle produced Ł61 for Museum funds.

Future:: It has been decided to have a post-Christmas meal at "The Out & Out" (new name for the Beefeater) at Morden Hall on Thursday 3rd January at 7.00pm. Members and guests will meet there and we will have a group table or private room depending on numbers. *See separate sheet for further details and booking arrangements.

We do hope to see as many members and friends as possible at this social event. It will be a chance to relax and chat after the Christmas and New Year period...So see you there.

Investing in Volunteers:

The working group has met five times during the winter and spring and has completed Phase II which is an initial self assessment of our provision for volunteers. We have now started Phase III which is preparing an Action Plan which identifies key issues and areas to work on. We are having a pause during the summer months while members are on holiday and some of us are now starting to review all our policies. We hope to continue our Working Group meetings in September.

We had one response for our request for help with Museum exhibitions. A request is now being sought for someone to help with Museum Education on the teaching rather than the practical side. We already have two enthusiastic volunteers who help the children with the printing side of our Workshops. Now I need someone to help me with the teaching side. This involves watching and explaining a video, explaining the exhibits in the Museum, helping children fill in a worksheet and answering their questions. If anyone has any free time -no more than 4 times a term on average, please telephone me at the Museum. Full training will be given if necessary!

For 2001-2002 are now due and renewal forms are enclosed with this Newsletter. Finally may we wish all Members, friends and volunteers a very happy Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Other News:
Deen City Farm has now reopened, about which we are all most relieved. The Merton Abbey Mills planning decisions have been reached, sort of - see article. See also the HLF update.

Web Watch:
This web site has reached the stage where we need more input from our readers as to the content we should be including. All comments/criticisms/suggestions gratefully received. plese see our Comments and Suggestions Form.

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