Frenchay Museum is not closing, despite hospital being downgraded

Frenchay Museum custodians Marylyn Phillips and Hazel Copsey, with 25,000th visitor Martyn Carr

Frenchay Museum custodians Marylyn Phillips and Hazel Copsey, with 25,000th visitor Martyn Carr

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

A VILLAGE museum is celebrating after welcoming its 25,000th visitor through the door but volunteers have urged people to remember it is not closing.

Frenchay Museum will remain open on the Frenchay Hospital site despite health services being transferred to the new Southmead Hospital later this month.

Volunteers at the historic museum, which was built in the 19th century as the West Lodge for Frenchay Park estate, are concerned the general public is under the misunderstanding the building will close when Frenchay is downgraded from an acute hospital on May 19.

Curator Alan Freke said: “Although Frenchay Hospital closes later this month, the museum, which is just inside Entrance B, is not closing, and will continue to open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons.

“I think we have a hill to climb as most people seem to think that we close when the hospital does.”

The building was acquired and converted to a museum by the Frenchay Tuckett Society and opened in May 2000.

It has hosted countless exhibitions in that time and is currently displaying the history of the hospital. There is also a visiting exhibition by the WRVS, the voluntary group with the longest association with the hospital, on display.

The 25,000th visitor, Martyn Carr from St Column Major in Cornwall, was presented with his choice of one of the many books produced by the museum to mark the event, That Mighty Mountineer, the life of Frank Tuckett of Frenchay, who was a pioneering alpinist during the 1850s and 1860s.

Admission to the museum is free. Opening hours are Wednesdays (1-6pm), Saturdays and Sundays (2-5pm).

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