Army artifacts from Museum of Lancashire in Preston to be packed into storage

Regimental artifacts at a museum in Preston are being put into mothballs.

Museum of Lancashire
Museum of Lancashire

It comes after an attempt to take on the former Museum of Lancashire (MoL), which shut in 2016, by a group of former soldiers fell through.

The MoL in Stanley Street, run by Lancashire County Council, had displayed museum pieces from the King’s Royal Hussars and Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry.

But since talks have fallen through the two museum displays are to be packed off, some into storage and some to a museum in the South of the country.

Colonel Mike Glover at Fulwood Barracks said: “There was a regimental consortium which composed of the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry and the King’s Royal Hussars.

“They had a business plan to go to try and make the site work but the plan that they had ultimately didn’t work.

“The business plan was essentially to run the museum - not just the exhibition space but also the whole conservation centre and storage but the council decided that they were not willing to go down that route so the plan wasn’t viable.

“The business place was based on the council giving the site to the consortium lock, stock and barrel but the council decided that they didn’t want to go down that path.

“Altogether there was a very strong military component to the Museum of Lancashire but goal posts changed and the business plan did not work so the regimental collection has to go by April 1.”

Now artifacts from the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry is going to be moved into containers at an army reserve centre in Wigan and pieces from The King’s Royal Hussars are going to another museum in Winchester to be put on display.

Col Glover told the Post that each regimental unit probably had about 1,000 museum pieces each to move.

He said: "We are talking about 300 years of physical heritage from the late 17th century to midnight last night covering everything from clothing, personal equipment, weapons, images, medals documents, pamphlets, it's a whole spectrum of three dimensional and two dimensional material.

"We are looking at getting two of those big containers you put on the back of trucks to move the Yeomanry pieces."

In the past Fulwood Barracks had also shared museum pieces to be put on display in a Great War Exhibition at MoL and those artifacts are now being moved back to the Lancashire Infantry Museum of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Since the MoL closed in 2016 the museum's education department has hosted visits from school groups.

A spokesman from Lancashire County Council said: "The King's Royal Hussars this week is boxing up its collection ready for it to go to Winchester where its regimental museum is based.

"Later this year it is going to transfer it to the regimental museum.

"The Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry is also to collect its collection at some point this year. That's going to go to Wigan. It's going to be put in storage for the immediate future.

"The remainder of the other collections are available for educational school visits."

Preston’s MoL, the Judges’ Lodgings museum in Lancaster, the Helmshore Textile Museums and Queen Street Mill in Burnley were closed in 2016 to save £1.1m.