Temporary closure of the Weald & Downland Living Museum FAQ’s

Message for Museum Director

Re: temporary closure of the Museum from Thursday, 5 November to Wednesday, 2 December 2020.


Following the recent Government announcement, the Weald & Downland Living Museum has chosen to close for this period of national lockdown to protect our community and support wider efforts to contain COVID-19.

Our intention is to honour the spirit of the lockdown by dissuading unnecessary travel and limiting contact between individuals for this 28-day period. We want to play our part in reducing the spread of the virus and to help keep people safe.

Every organisation is making the decision that is right for them, their staff, volunteers and visitors and there will be a range of approaches across our sector. I know that not having access to the Museum during this period will be upsetting for many. We have every intention of reopening in early December and look forward to celebrating the festive period with you all.

As we continue to monitor the situation and respond to Government advice and guidance, we will provide updates on our website and across our social media channels.

While we are closed, our staff will continue to monitor our collection and artefacts, protect our unique site and care for our animals.

Finally, on behalf of all of us at the Museum, thank you for your continued loyalty, support and understanding during this difficult time and for your support, messages and visits over the Summer period. We have loved seeing so many of you at the Museum and very much look forward to seeing you again soon. 

In the meantime, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we will be posting stories, videos and photos of our truly amazing museum.

Simon Wardell, Museum Director


Please see our FAQ’s below:  


GENERAL ADMISSION


When will you reopen?

We have every intention of reopening on 3 December, subject to government announcements. Please keep an eye out for updates on our website and across our social media channels.

When will tickets to sale?

We are currently not taking future bookings at this time. Information about our reopening and ticket sales will be published on our website and across our social media channels as it becomes available. 

Can I still walk around the Museum grounds?

Unfortunately not. We are following the advice from the Government and in support of maintaining social distancing we have decided to close all access to the museum site. We are committed to safeguarding the health of all visitors, volunteers and staff and are taking the necessary precautions to protect our community and support wider efforts to contain the virus.

I bought a ticket online, can I get a refund?

If you have purchased an online admission ticket for a visit between Thursday, 5 November – Wednesday, 2 December you will be automatically refunded. The refunds will be processed as soon as possible so please do bear with us!  

If you have tickets booked for dates beyond 2 December, should there be an extension to the government lockdown, we will also automatically refund these and will be in touch at that time.

Will your events be cancelled?

Sadly, we have cancelled all events until 2 December. Please keep an eye on our website for details of future dates and our reopening.

Will you be open on 26 & 27 December?

We hope to be open on 26 & 27 December for those wishing to enjoy the outdoors and to burn off the festive calories! Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further details.

Will you be having Tree Dressing?

Our intentions are to reopen in time for our annual Tree Dressing day, however we are currently not taking further bookings for this event at this time. Information about our reopening and ticket sales will be published on our website and across our social media channels as it becomes available. 

Will you be having Green Father Christmas?

We hope that Green Father Christmas will be able to stop at the Weald & Downland Living Museum this year! Please bear with us while we look at our options – we do have our thinking caps on! – and keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further updates.

I would like to make a group booking. How do I do that?

We are not taking group bookings at this time. If you would like to register interest for the future, please email [email protected] and we will be able to respond once the Museum reopens.

I have made a school group booking, what should I do?

For any school group booking enquiries, please contact [email protected].
Our team are contacting teachers which have made bookings.

What do I do if I am booked on a course or talk?

We will be contacting everyone who has booked a space on one of our courses or talks that is affected by our closure. We will be prioritising by date order and we are working with our course tutors to try and find alternative dates. However, if you would like to contact us please email [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible. There may be a delay in our response as a number of staff members are now furloughed. Please do bear with us. Thank you for your patience.

When will the Museum reopen?

We will reopen once the Government advises us to do so. We are hoping to be able to welcome you back to the Museum as soon as possible. Please do keep an eye on our website and social media channels which will be updated with any new plans.

How do I contact the Museum?

If you need to contact the Museum, please be aware that many of the team are now on furlough. A list of staff members and contact details is available at wealddown.co.uk/contact. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. 


MEMBERSHIPS


What will happen to my membership whilst the Museum is closed?

We are hugely grateful to all of you for your continued and ongoing support of the Museum. Because of your support, we are able to educate, inspire and delight all those who visit. As with the earlier lockdown, we will be extending all valid annual payment memberships by the length of the closure. Unfortunately we are unable to extend the memberships of those who pay by direct debit. For members who pay by direct debit, we will issue vouchers to the equivalent value to spend at the Museum when we reopen.

Does being a member support the Museum?

Absolutely! Membership makes up 10% of the Museum’s annual income. Members are the foundation to our financial stability. We are particularly dependent on our members’ generosity and continued support at this challenging time.

Can I buy a membership whilst you are closed?

Absolutely! Membership can be purchased online, please visit Buy Membership.
We would be extremely grateful for your support at this time. 

Can I cancel my membership?

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many, and you may not be able to continue to support us and thus remain as a member.
If your membership is due for renewal you are able to cancel it from the renewal date.  Please email [email protected] if you would like to cancel.

Who can I talk to about my membership?

Please email [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible. There may be a delay in our response as several members of staff are now furloughed. Please do bear with us and thank you for your patience.


FUNDRAISING/SUPPORTING THE MUSEUM


Why are you asking for donations?

We need your help now more than ever. As a charity and a self-funded, independent museum, we live on what income we make ourselves. 90% of our income comes directly from our visitors via admissions, our shop, cafe, courses and events. This means that we are vulnerable in a crisis such as this.  

How can I support the Museum?

There are a couple of ways that you can help make a difference to us at this worrying time.  From making a general donation to purchasing an annual membership, we greatly appreciate anything you can give. It is our 50th anniversary year, and we need you now more than ever, thank you!

1. Purchase an Annual Membership
Annual Membership makes up 10% of the Museum’s income and during this unprecedented time of closure, this income is vital to us now more than ever. 
A number of our members join as a way of supporting the Museum even though they are unable to visit and/or live overseas.
Please consider joining as a member and supporting us in this way – Buy Online Here!

2.  Via donation
There are three options to make a donation, please see below:

JustGiving:
Make your donation here – No matter how small, anything will make a difference!

Text to Donate

To support us with a monthly text donation:
– Text WEALD to 70450 to donate £5 monthly (texts cost £5 plus two standard rate messages)
– To donate £10 a month text WEALD 10
– To donate £20 a month text WEALD 20

To support us with a one off text donation:
– Text FUTURE to 70480 to donate £10 (texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message)
– To Donate any amount between £2 and £20 text FUTURE plus the amount you wish to donate i.e. FUTURE10 to donate £10 (this will include one standard rate message).


WEDDINGS


Can I book a wedding for 2021?

If you are interested in hosting your wedding at the Museum, please register your interest by emailing [email protected]. We will be able to respond to you once we reopen.


ANIMALS


Are the working animals being looked after?

Staff will continue to care for our animals, with a team rota to support this.

Are the pigs being looked after?

The pigs are currently off-site and back with the Sussex Saddleback Association. We look forward to welcoming the piggies onsite again soon.

Where are the Oxen?

Our oxen are off-site for training and will remain where they are until after the present situation changes.


CAFÉ & SHOP 


When will the Museum café and shop reopen?

The Museum cafe and shop will reopen as soon as the Museum reopens. This will be in line with Government guidance. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Can I still buy Museum flour?

Unfortunately, we are unable to sell Museum flour at this time, as the Mill is not in operation and our shop is closed.

Do you have an online shop?

Not at this time. This is something we are working towards, however this project has been paused during the Museum closure. Apologies for any inconvenience.


FILMING 


Can filming still take place at the Museum?

Yes, we are still able to offer the Museum as a film and photography location. If you would like to use the Museum as a location for your production, please email [email protected].


QUESTION NOT ANSWERED?


If your question has not been answered above, please email [email protected] and we will respond to your question as soon as possible.