Two weeks into lock down, and the Museum is starting to settle down into its new routine.
We closed our doors on the 16th March, and then cancelled our walks and cave tours a few days after that.
As we started to realise that this was not going to be something that was going to go away soon – we created a team of volunteers who would go into the Museum once or twice a week, and do the usual weekly checks. Many of the official Museum authorities had put a checklist online – so it was very simple to take these guidelines and adapt them to our needs.
The majority of the museum volunteers don’t work out of the physical museum – so we were able to chat by e mail, and also use video conferencing site Zoom to start working out what we could get on with over this enforced ‘break’.
The website and social media would be more important than ever. Our Museum shop manager – took over the Instagram channel, (@dorkingmuseum). We have thousands of images of Dorking and the surrounding areas – and now seemed like a really good time to get those out into the wider community.
Volunteers were happy to swop roles – and help out on projects that didn’t involve them leaving the house. A volunteer, who usually runs our Betchworth Castle walks, has moved to helping us cataloguing our fossil collection.
Other volunteers typed up transcripts of documents that were produced on a typewriter years ago – enabling us to add more content to our website.
The Museum had just started the long road to gaining official Accreditation from the Arts Council – and the small team working on this now had a unique opportunity to work through all the stages of this process without the usual constraints of their other roles.
We have decided to change the front page of our website into a diary / notice board – where people can come and have a look at what we are all doing every day. We understand that not everyone is on social media – so this seemed like a perfect place to share our information.