Friends later dated 7th of September 2015

Dear Friends,                                 7/9/15

During the last year much has been achieved. The Williamson is a lively place and all the activities are having an increasing impact.

Your committee intend that this should continue and are planning actively to ensure it can be sustained in the longer term. We have been advised by the Council that they will continue to run the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum and the Birkenhead Priory and that they will be pleased to work actively with the Friends. Together with the Council, we will work steadily and seek to implement as many as possible of the constructive ideas that have emerged during the last two years.

Your Committee are working with Colin Simpson and the staff of both sites. The very special “Perfect?” on the 30th October will be as a result of joint hard work.

We are also planning for the future in active way. This letter is to let you know that we will hold a special information and consultation session on Saturday the 7th November at 11.00am followed by a buffet lunch. There will be three themes: 1) Council staff will share their vision and strategy for Wirral Museums Service; 2) Friends will examine their role in supporting this vision and 3) we will propose to develop the structure and organisation of the Friends, including incorporating the Charity as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (a CIO), so that it can carry out the enhanced role better and more effectively.

I would urge you to attend this meeting if you possibly can so that as many people as possible can contribute to an exciting future. For parents with children, the meeting coincides with our artist in residence’s drop in workshops in the gallery at the same time so that it will be fully family friendly occasion. Please RSVP to the friendswilliamson@gmail.com or leave a message at the front desk of the Williamson for attention of the committee.

We will place relevant documents on Friends blog (the first of which is in the previous post on this blog), make them accessible through the Friends Facebook page and on the noticeboard at the Williamson over the next few weeks. Please look at them. This will include an edited version of the Museums Service Forward Plan and full information about the CIO including the draft modern constitution andexplanation of what a CIO is and how it is structured.

Naomi Horlock, our Chair, has made a wonderful and inspired contribution to our work. Sadly exceptional work pressures have meant that she is not able to carry out her duties as she would wish at the present time. In these circumstances the Committee has appointed me to take over as chair until the next AGM. I will work as closely with Naomi as I can and we are all hopeful that in due course she will be able to resume the responsibilities as Chair. In the meantime, I will certainly do my best to guide the friends through this significant transitional period.

With every good wish.

Lawrence Holden

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