Behind the scene at Judges’ Lodgings Museum as deadline extends

From left Anthea Purkis, museum manager and Sue Ashworth, senior museum manager outside the Judges' Lodgings.
From left Anthea Purkis, museum manager and Sue Ashworth, senior museum manager outside the Judges' Lodgings.

The deadline for reaching a possible agreement on the future of the Judges’ Lodgings Museum has been extended.

Lancashire County Council said talks are ongoing with the trustees of Lancaster Judges’ Lodgings and are expected to come to an agreement on September 1.

This comes after the Lancaster Guardian was given exclusive access to tour the Lancaster museum after concerns were raised over its maintenance and mice ‘running amok.’

“It wasn’t an infestation, it was one mouse,” said Sue Ashworth, senior museum manager at the Judges’ Lodgings.

“We have not seen one mouse since, they are not running around, we have traps laid out and pest control are due to come back soon to double check everything.”

No mice were found on our tour although we were shown the doll a mouse had tried to eat which had some minor damage to its arm.

Anthea Purkis, museum manager, said: “I can understand the pubic’s concern because from the outside it doesn’t look there is anything going on, but there is.

“We keep all the blinds closed to protect paintings from the light, it’s the same with LED lights in display cabinets, to protect the dolls from the heat.”

Some of the 5,300 dolls at the museum are being specially stored in acid free paper.

“It is a long process but we are in the middle of documenting the dolls electronically. We have a great team of volunteers who are helping us with this,” said Anthea.

The county council has agreed to continue the care and maintenance regime until August30 in order for trustees to complete their revised business plan and continue the transfer negotiations.

A county council spokesman said: “The trust will now receive several more months of benefitting from the professional expertise available to them so they are in a strong position to take over.”