CAST member and Museum Trustee Clive Harris reports on the imminent re-opening of the museum and issues a plea for fans to stop donating post 1960 programmes:
"A busy day yesterday for the Museum Trustees as we prepare for the re-opening of the museum later this month.
We have come a very long way since we opened in October 2013, back then, when we asked for donations, we wondered if we might have enough objects to fill the space we had secured high up in the Covered End, how wrong we were.
One aim was to try and create a programme archive that supporters could access for future generations to come.
Fast forward to 2021 and we are now faced with a completely separate challenge, and one that has led us, after some discussion, to make the following decision.
We now have a very near complete home and away programme collection going back to the 1940s, those hand full we are missing we can source and acquire via specialist auctions. The man hours involved in cataloguing such a vast archive has been significant, all the time new bundles, bags, boxes and sometimes boot load's of programmes have arrived or been left in reception.
As lofts have been cleared, sheds converted to garden pubs and more regrettably, when long time supporters pass away, we now find that for every 200/300 programmes we receive, we may need 1 or 2 and these are largely from the early 1950's.
Yesterday, I personally estimated that we had a good thousand or so spares in boxes, piles and bags.
With very few exceptions, unless they are pre-1960's, they have little, if any commercial value for us to even sell on. It has now got to the stage where they not only detract from the exhibits we display, but before long could verge on presenting a fire risk.
We have been genuinely overwhelmed with peoples generosity to get us where we are but, are forced now to make the decision that we can no longer accept any programme donations Post 1960.
We do have plans of being able to offer what spares we have to young collectors, more of which later when we can confirm this.
We would however politely, and respectfully, urge people not to drop any more off at reception 'FAO the Museum' without prior contact, of course if you think your loan or donation is of specific historic interest then please do contact us.
Our museum is something that we all, as supporters, can be extremely proud of, it is fan-run, fan-owned and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Thank you for your support so far and we do hope you appreciate and understand with the limited space we have, we have been forced to draw a line under accepting any further programmes donations."