By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter
A petition to restore a council’s museum of the borough’s history has received more than 1,000 signatures.
Greenwich council has been asked to restore a “properly functioning” museum and archive service to the borough in a recent petition.
The council originally set up a museum for the borough’s history in 2003 at the Greenwich Heritage Centre, including a reading room for the council’s archives.
But the service was moved out of its building in Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, in 2018 to allow for a new cultural hub, Woolwich Works, to open in its place.
The archive is now reportedly stored in Charlton and is available to access through enquiring with the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (RHGT), who took over the running of the museum in 2014.
The petition was started by Mary Mills, former Labour councillor for Greenwich Peninsula, on behalf of the Greenwich Industrial History Society.
She said in the petition: “A local history archive should form part of the council’s strategy to fight disadvantage and, also by demonstrating the diversity of its past, enhance the offer to visitors for local economic advantage.
“It should also provide an educational facility where research skills can be learnt by all, from young children to elderly family historians.
“We urge Greenwich council to restore a properly functioning archive and museum service to enable everyone to celebrate and research our heritage.”
A Greenwich council spokesman said: “In 2018, the borough’s archives and collections were relocated from Woolwich to a new purpose-built site in Charlton, fitted to the highest standards of care and management. For the first time in their 100-year history, Royal Greenwich’s collections and archive are now housed together.”
“Woolwich Works’ restoration rescued the buildings from being on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and the venue has since become a cultural hub for our borough.”
An RHGT spokeswoman said: “RGHT continues to offer a service through the archivist and team of volunteers, who enable researchers to access the borough’s archive via our enquiry service. The trust is regularly in discussions about potential services, including a reading room for archive materials and intends to continue to consult with community organisations on these options.”
Pictured top: Woolwich Works, as shown in the Royal Arsenal area of Woolwich (Picture: Joe Coughlan)
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