I’m writing in response to your item about putting museum artefacts on show.
In theory, this is an interesting idea, but in practice, it could be difficult to maintain. As local historian David Glover says, there is so much more to caring for these artefacts than simply finding a space to put them.
They need to be kept in a suitable controlled environment, protected from theft and vandalism, and regularly checked for possible damage or deterioration. Who would take responsibility for that? Not volunteers; with all the best will in the world, they are unlikely to be trained conservators.
The council should start by re-opening the Industrial Museum. Obviously, as it’s been closed up and neglected for years, this will entail a great deal of work ranging from expert conservation to cleaning the floors.
This is where a volunteer group could become involved – working under the supervision of a conservator, they could help make the place viable again.
I’d certainly put my name down on the list – I would love to be involved with restoration of the Industrial Museum.
There have been several suggestions recently about turning part of the Piece Hall into local history exhibition space.
There is (or used to be) a door leading from the art gallery into the museum, so it should be relatively simple to change the space occupied by the gallery into an extension of the museum.
The gallery itself could move round the corner onto the south side; this would entail the removal of some dividing walls, but there is a precedent for that, so it’s likely that listed building consent would be granted. This would serve as a further incentive for people to visit Halifax, visit the Piece Hall, and visit the museum.