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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 3:53 pm   #5
Sean Williams
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: St.Ippolyts, Hitchin, Hertfordshire QRA IO91UW
Posts: 3,480
Default Re: What happened to the National Wireless Museum?

There is little information about the National Wireless Museum, for many reasons, mainly due to it's location.

It formed out of a split with The Communications and Electronics Museum Trust, The exact dates escape me, I am not that up to speed with the archive, but would guess around the mid to late 1980s.

Douglas Byrne and Dr Graham Winbolt went their seperate ways, CEMT administered "The Winbolt Collection" - centred around RADAR and military electronics, and the NWM took care of the majority of the domestic collection that had been amassed by then.

Douglas was taken quite ill, the trustees at that time realised (as many are realising now) that the cost of supporting a formal Museum with exhibition and collection space is vast, and demands much of its trustees. With that in mind, the majority of stuff from the NWM was sold at auction, as organised by the Radiophile, at a sale in Market Drayton, some years ago.

To suggest that anything went wrong would be incorrect, indeed given the sheer number of Museums and collections within the UK that are closing, relocating, or disposing of artefacts, you could say it was just a victim of circumstance.

The hardest part of administering a collection, or a trust, is that of finding suitable trustees, CEMT, a trust of which I am a trustee is slowly winding down, the average age of trustees is high, and finding interested replacements is no easy task, we have taken a decision to wind things down slowly, while we are winding down, we are also helping to rehouse the remaining items in our care.

There really isnt much to learn from this situation - the NWM just ran out of time, and did not have a viable future.
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