Reaction to Lancaster's Judges' Lodgings reopening

A group set up to save a Lancaster museum has finally been given the news it has been waiting for.
Judges' Lodgings in Lancaster.Judges' Lodgings in Lancaster.
Judges' Lodgings in Lancaster.

After years of fighting for its future the decision to reopen Lancaster’s Judges’ Lodgings museum was announced by Lancashire County Council.

The council’s cabinet agreed to reopen the museum for three days each week at a meeting on Thursday.

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This comes after the Friends of the Judges’ Lodgings took part in a near two year battle to save it from permanent closure due to funding cuts.

Now the museum, famous for its Gillows Furniture and doll collection, is set to open this summer.

“I am so proud, the work we have put into it and the public consultation has paid off,” said Sue Widden, secretary of the Judges’ Lodgings Museums Trust.

“The county council has decided to open it three days a week, bring in one or two paid staff and work closely with the group to supply volunteers.

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“But we have not had any discussions yet since the decision last week, we are hoping to talk to the Cabinet Museums Working group about our role.”

The Judges’ Lodgings will be open between Easter and the end of October for the next two years on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

County Coun Aidy Riggott, lead member for economic development and cultural services, said: “Our paramount concern has always been to secure the long-term future of the Judges’ Lodgings Museum, and the important collection it houses.

“We will continue to work with the Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings Museums Trust, to ensure that together we can ensure a successful future for the museum.”

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The care and maintenance regime that is in place will now be extended to make sure the building and collection is properly cared for during the times of the year when the museum is closed. The Judges’ Lodgings should reopen to coincide with the beginning of the school summer holiday on Saturday July 21.

This date is still provisional currently.