Recover sense of harmony in troubled times

YOU MIGHT just pass the green-painted house at No 9 Causeway, Horsham, without giving much thought to what lies behind the gabled three-storey facade of what is in fact a treasure trove of local lore: Horsham Museum and Art Gallery.

A place to ‘muse’ on the dusty relics of the past and while away a rainy afternoon in the holidays or tick off boxes for a school project. That’s what the word ‘museum’ may still conjure up for you. If so you are behind the times.

We know museums play an important part in handing on a sense of cultural identity. Horsham Museum has projected itself into the world roundabout and made the ancient traditions and more recent memories of the area an organic part of its living breathing community.

Of course static exhibitions remain an important part of its portfolio and I am delighted that the Friends of Horsham Museum have just been awarded a grant of £44,800 for their William Albery Poster Conservation project. This will fund the digitisation of a collection of posters ranging from 1840 to the 1940s and provide a programme of opportunities for community engagement.

But if you cannot go to the museum it will come to your village hall or club via its ‘touching memories’ reminiscence outreach service working with local organisations to set up displays and lend out objects in suitable settings.

Memory boxes containing objects from the 1930s to 1970s are loaned out free of charge to homes and clubs for the elderly and they in turn can contribute their memories of ‘old Horsham’, or life during the Second World War which the museum is conserving via its Home Front recall project.

If you want to be a part of a mutually supportive enterprise that turns the past into a living tradition, why not get in touch with the Friends of Horsham Museum and see how your talents and memories can help build up the historical fabric of your community?

Such a contrast to the smash and grab fury that we saw recently on our streets when the emphasis, sadly, seemed to be on creating division and tearing down what previous generations built up. Communities around the country have suffered from severe damage to housing, local buildings and businesses as a result of the rioting.

Concerted, cross-Government action is helping get people back on their feet making available £10m of funding from the Treasury Reserve for this exceptional series of events.

Horsham Museum boasts not one, but two, walled gardens. The perfect place to recover one’s sense of harmony in troubled times.

FRANCIS MAUDE

MP for Horsham