In my last Chairman’s Message, I referred to our ambition to open a Mini-Museum in EC3, City of London, to start our work engaging with audiences and telling the global story of insurance. With all the changes going on now in the City, the chances of us achieving that ambition are growing by the day. I’ve had my eye on an ideal location in Lime Street, not far from Lloyd’s, where the Landlord is Aviva. The “To Let” sign has been in the widow for over a year, but I’m told that an offer has been made and accepted. The lease is now “in legals”, so we may have missed that particular opportunity.
The City planners are giving us a great deal of encouragement and they have put us in touch with developers of a project in EC3 with whom we are in discussions. We’ve had a first look but, unfortunately, it does not appear to fit our requirements. Nevertheless, discussions are continuing, and we remain hopeful that we will find somewhere. There are currently 5 or 6 planning applications which may suit our short and long-term ambitions.
In the meantime, Jonathan Squirrell and his team at OB Brand Consulting continue their splendid work on Gallery 3 of our digital museum. Powered by the Industrial Revolution will explain the expansion of fire insurance between 1760 and 1823. We are grateful to the Education and Training Trust of the CII for their help in funding this Gallery.
In a recent chat to a Reinsurance Lecturer mate, Peter Cave, I was delighted when Peter said he thought our online museum was brilliant. “At the end of my lectures I give my students your website address and tell them if they want to know about the history of fire insurance it’s all there” he said. Thanks for the compliment Peter, I look forward to reading your article on the history of Reinsurance in a future Newsletter!
Fundraising and supporters
On the subject of funding, we thank our friends at Hiscox Foundation and the Guernsey International Insurance Association, who have both recently made generous donations towards development on the Insurance Museum. Their support will enable us to deliver further online galleries and to establish our “Mini-Museum”. Nicky Allen, Hiscox Charity Coordinator said, “The trustees are really excited to support the development of the museum as it provides such a valuable resource to engage and inspire people around the insurance industry.”
On a personal note, it is pleasing to see how our website is attracting attention across the world. We’ve been contacted by interested parties in Australia, Brazil, Japan and USA, and I’m delighted to say thank you to Michael Gill, a well-known Sydney based Insurance Lawyer who has signed up as a lifetime member, and Andre Lukez, an Ohio Insurance broker, for their generous donations.
Another recent and generous supporter is the Insurance Institute of Manchester. Last month they celebrated their 150thbirthday. As many will know the Institute was the first insurance institute and was later part of the group which ultimately led to the establishment of the Chartered Insurance Institute. The Insurance Museum was honoured to be present at the celebrations and I’m grateful to Howard Benge and Jonathan Squirrell for taking our Pop-Up Insurance Museum along.
Reg Brown – Insurance Museum Chairman