Hitchin and Letchworth museums closed

A MUSEUM closed its doors for good at the weekend, and another is set to follow suit next week.

Hitchin and Letchworth museums will be moved to a new district-wide facility in 2014.

Hitchin Museum has shut completely and Letchworth Museum is technically closed but will open for this weekend’s Heritage Open Days.

It is so that displays can be cleaned, catalogued, packed and moved to the new facility, which be located in Hitchin Town Hall.

Hitchin Museum held a goodbye event on Saturday, where members of the public, colleagues and friends of the museum visited.

Curator David Hodges said: “It was a lovely day and went really well. We had quite a few members of staff past and present come along to say goodbye and to join us in looking to the future, including my predecessor Gill Riding, and Barbara Bullen who demonstrated the polyphone music machine to some entranced youngsters. Members of the historical society also came with a lovely card.

“There was a comments book, including a quote from the first ever curator who worked here in the 1930s, who hearing of the move recently said ‘about time’.”

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He added: “There were lumps in our throats as we went through the closing procedure at 5pm, but also a lot of excitement about the challenges ahead.”

The move is part of a multi-million pound project, which will see the refurbishment of Hitchin Town Hall. The revamp will transform the existing Workmans Hall and gymnasium into a new museum, while keeping the Mountford Hall for community use.

It is not yet known what will happen to the museum buildings.

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