Friday, 8 July 2016

First and last

Today is the first day of COW2016, Wargame Developments' annual Conference of Wargamers, and I will be packing my car and leaving for Northamptonshire in a few hours.


Today is also the last day that Firepower, the Royal Artillery Museum, will be opening its doors, and it is with much regret that I won't be able to be there.


The Museum opened on its present site in April 2001, and I was amongst its first visitors. I subsequently served on the Board of the Friends of Firepower for two years, and helped to launch the opening of the Cold War Hall. I have visited it on numerous occasions with friends and family, and it is regrettable that it has now to vacate its present site due to costs and pressure for the site to be used for other purposes. (The local council intends to use the vacated buildings for a 'heritage and cultural centre' and a small area within the existing Greenwich Heritage Centre will be made over to the history of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich.)

The huge collection and archive is going into storage, but will be housed at the new home of the Royal Artillery Museum in Wiltshire that will open in three or four years time.

4 comments:

  1. It is never a good day when a museum closes imo. Three local one have been slated for closure in Kirklees.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Pete.,

      Too many museums and libraries are being closed in order to 'save' money.

      What price history and culture?

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Hi Bob. I only found out after the reading room had already closed, but did manage to get in a final visit with my son and my Dad as his father was a WW1 gunner [RGA] and his mother was a tool setter in the Arsenal during WW1. I fear it will be a long wait for the new museum to open. I was born in Woolwich - so it was a good day out for us all. The last time I visited the museum it was still in the Rotunda !!! Regards Paul
    PS love your Napoleonic rules - when will we see the Hexlanders again ??

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    1. Paul Leeson,

      I am pleased to read that you managed one last visit before the museum closed. In my opinion the move to Wiltshire site was engineered by the leadership of the Royal Artillery (once Woolwich ceased to be the home of the regiment, they lost interest in the museum), the local council (left-wing Labour who were unhappy with the military presence in the town), and the property developers (who saw the site as a valuable asset that could be developed for more profit-making activities).

      I assume that if you were born in Woolwich you might well have been born in the British Home for Mothers and Babies, now alas also gone.

      I worked in Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School from 1975 to 1985, after which I moved over to Riverside House to work in the a Education Office.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. I managed to do a bit of developmental work on my Napoleonic rules whilst I was on my latest cruise, and hope to play-test them soon.

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