The first thing I would like to say is an enormous personal THANK YOU to all those wonderful supporters who recently honoured the pledges of financial support they made as long ago as 2019. At that time, we were in pre-pandemic wonderland and only thinking of a physical museum. Much has happened since then and we are now concentrating on a Virtual Museum rather than physical. So, it would be understandable if some had changed their minds. We are not exactly penniless as I write, but not exactly flush with cash either. These contributions allow us to press ahead with our digital effort and are gratefully received.
In my last message I threatened marketing managers, chiefs of HR and CSR leads that I was going over their heads and appeal to Chief Executive Officers on the grounds that the Insurance Museum must be one of the few opportunities that ticks all the boxes – PR, HR and CSR.
Something I’ve often thought about in recent months is the question ‘are there enough insurance CEOs with the vision to see the benefits to the industry, and therefore give financial support, of having a World Class Insurance Visitor and Research Centre in London EC3?’ Certainly, when we carried out the Feasibility Study in 2019, we had support from a few visionary CEOs who financed us. All the insurance Trade Associations, Lloyd’s and the City Corporation had the vision and saw the benefits.
As I was saying to my wife ‘I need to create a community of CEOs to support the project’ she pointed to an article she was reading in the Daily Telegraph Magazine (8 January 2022) about the residents in the Lancashire village of Trawden. Read it if you can. It is an inspirational story about how the villagers created a community and took matters into their own hands. With the industrial decline, the village suffered. The mills, where most of the villagers worked, closed, the tramline to Burnley was lost and as a result, the population of 3,000 reduced to a third. To quote the article:
“The library, the shop, the community centre beside it and the four-square Victorian pub over the road are now owned and run by the 1,919 people who call Trawden home.”
We too want to create a community. You may already know we are building first phase of our virtual museum, the Fire and Property Gallery that will start to engage people with the history of insurance and the Insurance Museum. Later in the year, we will launch a membership scheme that will enable individuals in the insurance sector, and those who are simply interested, to be part of our work.
Establishing stakeholder and supporter groups will be important to us. This will give everyone the opportunity to be part of our community, advising, supporting, and fundraising for the development of a World Class Insurance Visitor and Research Centre in London EC3. First of all though, we will be seeking that community of CEOs for some serious funding and support.