So, what’s happening in Port Sunlight?
We (Port Sunlight Village Trust) are currently closed to visitors, this includes our museum and Edwardian Worker’s Cottage, Tea Room, and Community Hub at Bridge Cottage. Some staff have been furloughed, others are working from home. The Operations Team continue to be on-hand ready to support our residential and commercial tenants in the village with any emergency repairs.
The Port Sunlight landscape continues to bloom and has looked particularly stunning in recent weeks, Mother Nature is doing a great job! However now that the sunshine has disappeared for a while, the grass is starting to grow and the village doesn’t quite look as manicured as we would like.
All our guided village tours have stopped (for now!). We are using our social media platforms more than ever, sharing landscape images and historical stories and throwbacks with our online audiences to give everyone a piece of Port Sunlight at home. We’ve been experimenting with a new weekly podcast series which will launch next week ‘A village in lockdown’ exploring the physical and emotional effects of Covid-19 on the village. We’ll also be launching a contemporary collecting project so we can document the impact for future generations.
We have had to cancel many of our big and annual events, including the ever-popular family ‘Easter Bunny Trail’, The Port Sunlight Road Race and the Association of Independent Museums Annual Conference. We are working with all organisers to reschedule the events and come back with a bang next year!
Bridge Cottage, our Community Hub, has had to adapt its operating model to ensure we continue to engage and support our village residents. The Community Hub has been busy getting active online, going ‘live’ with video demonstrations covering everything from making a tin-can owl to gardening tips. Our Community Engagement Officer, Claire even got a retweet from the Queen of Crafts, Kirtsy Allsop, for her step-by-step guide on wreath-making – so watch this space!
Our teams are busy working behind the scenes continuing with the delivery of our new strategic plan and conservation management plan. Perhaps the most exciting is the development of our brand-new family interactive gallery, Soap Works, which was due to open in early June but we now hope to launch by the beginning of August, all being well! Designed to encourage more children to engage with the STEM subjects, its become all the more relevant as a result of Covid-19. Did you know that William Lever ran his own clean hands campaigns, giving out certificates and medals? (Funded by AIM Biffa Award)
We are looking ahead and preparing for what re-opening might look like, encouraging people to return to Port Sunlight but in a safe way. These discussions have certainly got the creative juices flowing as we explore how we can be ’The Light Touch Museum and Village’.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome the BBC1 Breakfast News Team to Port Sunlight Village this evening (Thursday 30th April). They want to capture the community coming together to show its appreciation for frontline NHS workers. They will also be featuring some of our residents who have been helping their neighbours and using their musical talents to boost morale. The clip will likely be broadcast on the Breakfast Show on Friday morning.
Keep up to date with Port Sunlight:
FB: @portsunlightvillagetrust / Twitter: @PortSunlight
Thanks to Port Sunlight Village for contributing this blog post.