The last four years have seen many changes at the Museum. There have been lows, including the closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent problems we are facing with the boiler. And there have been many highs, including starting our journey to become a more sustainable organisation and the Museum being shortlisted for this year’s Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.
We are incredibly grateful to Liz Power, Museum Director, for her leadership and vision during this time. However, Liz has decided the time has come for her to explore new challenges and opportunities. She has accepted a new role as the Director of Historic Building and Places, formally known as the Ancient Monuments Society. Liz will be leaving the Museum in mid-January 2023.
In the new year, we are also saying goodbye to Gemma Cante and Emma Canterbury our Engagement Coordinators. Gemma has accepted an exciting new opportunity as a Community Engagement Officer at Westminster Abbey. Emma’s goodbye is only a temporary one as she is due to welcome her second child in early 2023.
We have also recently said goodbye to our long serving Chair Clare Grist Taylor who has been a trustee for eight years. In the interim, two of our newer trustees, Heather Thomas and Tom O’Leary, have stepped in as co-chairs while we recruit for a chair which will get underway in the new year.
Recruitment for the new Museum Director and Engagement Coordinators is underway, and we hope to recruit in the new year. Melissa Maynard, Collections Coordinator, has accepted the role as Interim Museum Director to ensure a smooth transition and handover.
We hope you join us in wishing Liz and Gemma all the best in their new roles.
Heather and Tom, Interim Co-Chairs
After 4 years at the London Museum of Water & Steam, I am leaving to take on a new role as Director of Historic Buildings & Places.
When I joined the Museum in late 2018, I had no idea of what the next four years would bring, I was excited to be part of a wonderful Museum, and work to bring in more visitors and opportunities to the organisation.
Having guided the Museum though the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, I am proud so of what we have been able to achieve in spite of being closed to all for so long. I will always be proud of our summer of 2020 when we opened our outdoor spaces for free for local people, and being able to re-open the Museum, not once but twice!
Our new café partner in Our Barn has been transformational in the way the Museum works with the community, and seeing so many local Brentford people enjoying the Museum is always a highlight. The work we have done with families, school and the local community is second to none that I have ever seen in the Museum sector, and the joy of seeing our Museum in steam is always brilliant.
From the community gallery, wild play garden, Kids in Museum Family Friendly Award shortlisting, new railings in the carpark, better computer servers, our partnerships, and a Museum full of people having fun, there is so much I am proud that we have achieved.
It has been one of the hardest jobs I will ever do, and I very much hope to never need to lead anywhere during a pandemic again, but, if facing a pandemic had to happen, I was glad I was at LMWS to do it.
I will always be amazed and impressed by the hard work and dedication of the staff, volunteers, trustees and partners of the Museum. I would like to thank them all for their support over the years, especially to the staff team, who kept us all going when things got tough.
I have loved leading the Museum and now I can wait to be its number one supporter as it goes forward.
Thank you all.
Liz, Museum Director