The first thing I’m happy to do this time is to thank Dr Adrian Leonard for all the great work he did during his time as Trustee and Museum Curator. As an embryonic museum, we have been promised access to many heritage items but we own very little ourselves yet, so Adrian had nothing to curate! So, he has moved on but, with a fair wind and good fortune, you may be reading more of his historical articles in these columns.
The second thing is to welcome Paul Miller who joins us as a Trustee. Many of you may know Paul from his Social Media presence and I look forward to reading some of his great stories in the future.
One of my great privileges, apart from Chairing IM of course, is that of being President of the Insurance Orchestral Society’s London Phoenix Orchestra (formerly known simply as ‘the Insurance Orchestra’). At our last concert in our ‘posh’ venue, Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square on 17 February 2022, I was approached by a member of the Orchestra with the widest grin on his face I’ve ever seen. “What’s the grin for Tom?” I asked. “It’s taken me three years to get this show on the road and I’m just so glad we’ve finally made it! Covid forced us to cancel two years running.”
And so it has been with the Insurance Museum. We were hoping by now to have finished the work on creating a virtual fire gallery for our virtual museum. However, if we needed reminding that the virus is still with us, we found that there are new rules around getting access to the items we wished to feature in the museum. We couldn’t get them all together for one photo shoot in one location, pushing up the costs of dealing with one item at a time and travelling to remote locations. We still must be careful not to spread the disease!
Fortunately, the rules are now easing as most businesses are getting back to normal. We currently think we should aim to complete the work by September, perhaps to coincide with the anniversary of the Great Fire of London.
Similar concerns have affected the plans expressed in our last Newsletter to place three display cabinets in City office reception areas containing interesting insurance heritage items, kindly sponsored by Pool Re. Try getting permission to do that at the moment!