delivering the petition to the council

We delivered a copy of the online petition to the Waltham Forest Council meeting, on the evening of Thursday 20th of March. But that was only climax of a very productive day. It started at 10am outside the Gallery, where around 30 campaigners met the BBC News team to put our case for the Gallery in opposition to the Councils actions of dumbing it down.

We had already had a mention on an early morning broadcast, and were to get more as the day progressed. Our presentation of the petition and the reduction of the opening hours, coincided with Jimmy Page, of Led Zepplin, putting his Morris tapestry up for auction, with an expected sale price of 1,000,000, this caught the attention of the press, especially when contrasted with what is happening at the Gallery. We had a few minuets on the BBC 1.30 London Regional News, which was expanded on the later 6.30 edition. For me the highlight was Councillor Reardon admitting that despite the much vaunted restructuring to allow for greater local access at times when local people can get there, the gallery would not be be open for the Bank Holiday weekend, especially the Monday, Williams birthday.

The BBC clip can be viewed here on u-tube: http://www.youtube.com/v/t88gEJMs1QA&hl=en or click here
and it is worth looking at some of the associated clips whilst you are there

In passing we managed a small mention on Radio London Drive Time at 6.20. This was from the radio car in the council car park, except we could not all get in the car, so it was mainly from outside the car, getting wet.


At 6.30 we started to assemble outside the Town Hall for the presentation of the petition, it was a cold, wet and windy night but non the less courageous soles turned up to brave the conditions. At 7.30 we were packed in the visitors gallery and in a few minutes the presentation speach was underway. To some on the council it went down like a, well like a lead Zeplin, others seemed interested, given the way many councilors are kept in the dark about what is going on I am not surprised. After the presentation we all left for a well deserved dinner, or drink.

A big thanks to everyone who made the day such a success turning out at short notice and in such foul weather. Well done, we have kept the issue alive in the press and stuck another thorn in the side of the council for William.

Sotheby's did not mange to sell the tapestry, it did not reach its reserve.

A word or two on this copy of the petition. When we printed it off it had reached 11,350 names, we added some extra pages at the front, an introduction for the council, the letter from Dr Schoenherr to Clyde Loakes responding to his request for advice, a copy of an article from the Evening Standard by Andrew Gilligan, a copy of an article from the national Guardian by Jonathan Glancey, a photo page , then the substance of the petition . The whole was bound in Morris cloth and made 5cm thick book, the sort of thing that you want to hit the council with.

You can even have a look at the three minute speach .

For all the latest information on the campaign go to
www.keepourmuseumsopen.org.uk