Museum People 18.5.11


Joe came to us as a temporary member of staff and is now about to leave to seek his fortune in London and pursue a career in Law.  We are really going to miss him.  As a recent law graduate from Leeds University, he approached the Job Centre when he could not find immediate employment and was seconded to us through the “Future Jobs scheme”.  As an office assistant he has been willing, reliable and able. As a colleague he is helpful, sociable and makes an excellent cup of tea!  As an extra pair of hands when it came to the important job of “schlepping” he has been invaluable!!  Our loss is London’s gain.

Joe told me that he really enjoyed meeting and dealing with so many different kinds of people at the Museum. Joe, who is not Jewish himself, now jokes that he probably knows more about Judaism than Christianity. He was also intrigued by the Yiddish words he heard and has found himself adopting “schlep” into his own conversations. What has impressed him the most here? The Education officer’s in depth knowledge of Judaism and Local Jewish History, as well as all the Chelsea fixtures since 1978.

After the untimely death of our Director last year, it was decided to create a garden in the grounds of the Museum in his memory. This is a particularly fitting tribute to Stuart who was the driving force behind many improvements made to the Museum grounds during his directorship.  One of our volunteers is a gardening enthusiast and has been overseeing the creation of this garden. There will be an official opening in July, to which Stuart’s family and the volunteers will be invited.

The preliminary work was carried out by our Caretaker/Gardener who removed the turf from the site. I am told that this is going to be a winter garden.  Last week the flower beds were turned over and bags of rubble removed.  Trees were planted, a Prunus Serrula and five Cornus Siberica (or Dogwood). The latter have bright red stems in winter and variegated leaves and pale flowers in summer.  Daffodil bulbs have now been planted in the garden ready for next spring. These bulbs had been left in pots in the courtyard off the main office, until the garden was ready for them, and they flowered in these pots during an unusually glorious northern spring this year, making it fleetingly, an absolute delight to walk through the courtyard to the office.

March and April were unusually dry and sunny in Cheetham Hill. Janice our gardening enthusiast volunteer expressed her anxiety about the dry conditions and how it would adversely affect the progress of the memorial garden.  Ever since then it hasn’t stopped raining and raining and raining…………….Please Janice come back and say how much we now need sunshine.


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