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Inside Politics with Michael Wilkinson: Let's make a show of our heritage

By citizenmike  |  Posted: November 27, 2013


Inside Politics with Michael Wilkinson

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The Gloucester Citizen's public affairs reporter Michael Wilkinson takes an alternative stroll down the corridors of power.

AT the weekend I sent myself to Coventry with expectations of a city bedraggled by towering 1960s monoliths and a strong whiff of decline. It was, after all, bombed heavily in the Second World War.

But not so.

It has a bustling shopping area, beautiful cobbled streets leading to the ruins of the old cathedral and the stunning new one, and the wonderfully creative Herbert Gallery and Museum.

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It is in the latter that Gloucester could learn a thing or two.

It reopened in 2008 after a £20million refurbishment.

This light and airy modern structure is home to an impressive museum charting the city’s history with an art gallery thrown in to boot.

The Herbert is run by a charity and admission is free. In 2010 it had more than 330,000 visitors.

Admittedly I’m not very patient when it comes to exploring local history collections, but this was accessible and fun and it is open seven days a week.

Contrast that with Gloucester City Museum and Gloucester Folk Museum where the city council-run venues will cost you £3 a visit – since entry fees were introduced in 2012. Oh, and don’t bother going on a Sunday or Monday because they’re shut.

Gloucester enjoys a wealth of history but are we really championing it?

It would be incredible to have a giant venue that is the creative hub of this region here in our city which could encompass our heritage too.

Tonight the city council’s Labour leader Kate Haigh will call on fellow councillors to back a plan to tell the story of Gloucester and its people in the First World War in the 2014 centenary year using our museums. That’s a good place to start.

Peel, the firm behind Gloucester Quays, isn’t afraid of splashing the cash down at The Docks.

Imagine if a big developer like that took on the Gloucester Prison site and transformed it into a cultural centre?

That would be fabulous, but who has got the vision to take on such a project?

FAREWELL to the man who makes city MP Richard Graham’s Gloucester office tick over, Tom Skinner.

He has been running Richard’s office for the best part of three years.

Richard paid tribute to his efforts through this column.

He said: “He will take away a huge amount of experience in what community politics is all about. We have been together for two and a half years and it will be sad to see him go.”

Good luck to you Tom.

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  • jas37  |  November 29 2013, 9:52PM

    Got to say I agree about the Prison site.

    Rate   2
  • SELINA30  |  November 27 2013, 9:27PM

    Richard Graham has an office? Where is it? In the Cotswolds?

    Rate   -3