It was with a heavy heart that we took the decision to close the Museum on Wednesday 18th March 2020, with the last day open to the public on Sunday 15th. We had already seen fewer visitors coming that weekend, and it was only a matter of time before the government would announce the full lockdown. And so, in three days the staff team moved to close the Museum, not knowing how long it would be until we returned.
Each day that week started with writing up a list of the problems to solve in the office, then crossing them off when we had worked out what to do. With the doors and windows open to try and keep us as safe as possible, we worked though the list, solving new issues as we went along. What should we do about the boilers? What would happen to the cats? How can we work from home? All looked at, and overcome. By the 18th it was time to do the final closing. The three staff members in together walked round the building and site, making everything as safe as possible, ready for us to leave. It felt like before you go on holiday. Plugs removed, drip buckets put out and windows closed.
We made sure the office was as tidy as possible for our return, and I put the photo of my children in my desk drawer, it felt wrong to leave it on my desk all on its own. As we signed out we wrote ‘welcome back’ in the signing in book for us when we returned.
I was so proud of the staff team, that week more than ever. We had no idea how long we would be leaving for, everything we were doing was new to us all, but there was fun and laughter as always.
We walked out of the gates together, and headed home.