Jo Brand backs Great Walrus Tea Party to support Horniman Museum

Comedian Jo Brand is staging a Great Walrus Tea Party for a prestigious family museum which is losing £150,000 a month in lockdown.

The Bake Off Extra Slice host is asking bakers and afternoon tea fans to support the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill with a socially-distanced knees-up – at home or online – on Wednesday, June 24.

The actor and writer is calling for people to bake themed cakes, have a virtual get-together with friends and family, and make a donation to support the work of the Horniman.

The Great Walrus Tea Party is inspired by the Horniman’s iconic taxidermy walrus, which presides over its Natural History Gallery – currently closed to the public, along with the rest of the museum, due to the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown.

Ms Brand, pictured top, said: “Apparently there’s a bigger icon than me living in South London, who wants your cakes and baked offerings to help raise money for the fabulous Horniman Museum and Gardens.

“If you love the Horniman as much as I do, why don’t you join in by holding a virtual Great Walrus Tea Party?

“Bake your walrus-themed cakes, invite your friends to join in online and make a donation.

“Every penny will help the Horniman inspire future generations of
London’s families and school children with lifelong curiosity.”

The Great Walrus Tea Party fundraising pack has everything bakers will need to take part, including recipes, tea party ideas, and an e-invitation to send to family and friends.

And if June 24 doesn’t suit, people can join in the baking fun with a virtual tea party any time in June.

The Horniman closed to the public on Wednesday, March 18 until further notice.

Its gardens remain open from 8am until 4.30pm to allow for exercise.

Every month the Horniman is closed costs around £150,000 in lost ticket sales, memberships, the shop and cafe.

It relies on this income to help care for the gardens, fish and animals, to run events and to look after the collections.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens opened in 1901 as a gift to the people in perpetuity from tea trader and philanthropist Frederick John Horniman, to bring the world to Forest Hill.

It has 350,000 objects, specimens and artefacts from around the world.

Its galleries include natural history, music and an aquarium.

A new World Gallery of anthropology opened in June 2018 and a new arts space, The Studio, opened in October 2018.

Indoor exhibits link to the award-winning display gardens – from medicinal and dye gardens to an interactive sound garden, Butterfly House and an animal walk, in 16 acres, with views across London.

Tea party fundraising packs are online or by emailing

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