It’s home sweet home for priceless archives

Mary Silverton with other officials from the HHHS and Rob Bakewell, chairman of the Photographic Society

Mary Silverton with other officials from the HHHS and Rob Bakewell, chairman of the Photographic Society

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A new home has been found for the priceless archives which tell the story of Horncastle from its Roman origins to modern-day.

The town’s History and Heritage Society (HHHS) issued an appeal for new premises after being given notice to quit its current archive centre in the Sir Joseph Banks Centre.

Society members feared that without permanent secure accommodation, the archives would be scattered to members’ homes and cellars, without any means for public access and study.

Now, following the appeal, Horncastle Photographic Society has offered the use of a room in its historic Watson’s School premises in Watson’s Yard, West Street – once an early infant school.

HHHS chairman Mary Silverton said: “This is excellent news. We are thrilled.

“We hope to make the move from mid-May to mid-June and already have offers of help for the physical move of the archives – no small feat, considering the weight of old papers, photographs, maps and books.

“I think this is going to be mutually beneficial to both organisations. We can co-operate on things like exhibitions and film shows and other activities”.

The HHHS committee has approved the move and it is expected it will be endorsed by members at the AGM on May 17.

Members will also give their thanks to the Joseph Banks Society for their generosity in providing accommodation for the past four years.

Mrs Silverton added: “We wish them well for their plans to offer a permanent home to the Lincolnshire Herbarium.

“Thanks are also due to the town council who have searched to see if a new site could be found, to the local media for publicising our plight, and to other local organisations and many individuals who have helped.

“It’s a great relief to know we can continue to offer a home to documents which tell Horncastle’s story and develop these archives for the future.

“As Horncastle continues to expand, they will prove to be even more significant.”