Over 1,000 names have been added to the Town Hall museum ‘Walk of Fame’ as locals write themselves into St Albans’ history.
Local charity the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust (registered charity no. 1051868) has been running the Honours Boards appeal since March 2016, raising money to fund the new museum and art gallery in St Albans. Donors who give £250 or more will be recognised on oak panel Honours Boards to be displayed in the new museum. This week the appeal reached 1,000 names and £250,000.
Trustee of the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust, Cllr Annie Brewster, says: “We are so pleased that the local community is enthusiastically supporting the new museum in St Albans.
This is a chance for the people of St Albans to make their mark on the City for generations to come.
We have had people add their own name to the Honours Boards as well as the names of relatives, sometimes in memory of loved ones who lived in the District.
There is still space for more names to be included on the Boards, but people should donate as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss out.”
The Honours Boards will be permanently installed in the corridor linking the newly excavated basement Gallery with the existing Georgian prison cells beneath the courtroom.
Some of the District’s best known residents have contributed to the appeal, adding their names to the boards.
A local artist is engraving the boards in the style of historic graffiti, inspired by that found on the doors of the prison cells.
The Honours Boards appeal has seen a boost since it appeared on the hoardings outside the Town Hall. There are plans to display examples of the inscriptions of existing donors on new panels to the south of the building to help encourage others to donate.
The Town Hall project will restore the Grade II* listed building and transform it into a state-of-the-art new museum and art gallery in a £7.75million project.
Building work started in December 2016 and the majority of the funding has been secured through significant contributions from St Albans City and District Council’s redevelopment of the old Museum of St Albans site on Hatfield Road and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus £1.2m raised so far by the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust.
The St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust is looking for contributions from charitable organisations, local businesses and the community to close the remaining funding gap of £500,000. This is part of £1.7 million matched funding required as part of the successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
Local resident Linda Collyer has put her parents’ names on the Honours Boards. She says: “Dad would have been very interested to see what’s happening to the town hall! Mum and Dad met at a dance and it was love at first sight. They loved their family more than anything and were greatly loved and admired themselves. They have been greatly missed by many and the family are delighted and comforted to honour their names.”