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Hereford City Hidden Treasures

Colin James

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Hereford City Hidden Treasures

Hidden in the depths of the Town Hall in a small vault are the City's hidden treasures.
Accessible to only the abled bodied and in confined space allowing only a maximum of 10 people at any one time access to view them, the vault is dark and damp it is not the ideal place or conditions in which to display and preserve the City's hidden treasures.
At present there are up to 100 plate visits a year, a number restricted by the vaults accessibility. When school classes attend they must visit the vault quite often in three lots and any children who are unable to manage the steep curved stairs down to the basement below the Town Hall miss out completely.
Coaches of tourists are dropped off outside the Town Hall almost daily to view the historic buildings magnificent architecture, completely unbeknown to them are the City's treasures and deep seated history stored in the vault in the basement below them.
Every piece of silver, every charter, the oldest being 1189, older than the Magna Carta, makes up a piece of this City's history. Every piece tells a story or bequeaths something to the City and the people that reside here.
These treasures should be accessible to all; every school trip, every tour party and every group/organisation who visit the Town Hall should be able to see the City's fascinating collection.  
The land the Town Hall stands on was left to the people of this great City by the Johnson sisters, daughters of a former Town Clerk, to build a municipal building for the people of Hereford.
What better place to install a purpose built all accessible civic museum than in the Town Hall.
The no longer used Mayoress Parlour in the Mayoral Suite in the Town Hall will house this purpose built museum and will ensure the security and preservation of the City's ancient artefacts for generations to come. 
The tourists who visit the Town Hall will now not only be able to view the buildings fascinating architecture but also City's history and ancient treasures. 
Groups, organisations and schools will no longer be restricted to specialised visits restricted by numbers and accessibility. 
An underspend on the development of the new Tourist Information Centre for Hereford, a substantial application for a Heritage Lottery grant (if it is successful) and a saving on rent for the vault currently housing the City's silver and charter will all support the installation of the new civic museum.
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