News from the Friends
Like so many organisations the Friends have been in hibernation since the beginning of the Covid epidemic. Sadly, it has been impossible to continue with our usual programme of talks and visits. We were especially disappointed to have to cancel the annual Mystery Tour, which always attracts a large number of members.
Unable to meet physically, the trustees have been conducting their business by email, and the Annual General Meeting happened in a similar way with emails or letters being sent to every member. This enabled us to approve our annual report and accounts in a timely way and to submit them to the Charity Commission on time.
The new Friends’ website is up and running: www.foga.online Have a look if you haven’t done so already. It is optimised so that it looks as good on a phone as on a PC. We have also been developing our social media presence and we can now be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Now that the Archives have re-opened, visitors can enjoy the flower borders at the entrance to the building, which were planted by the Friends last Autumn. In solitude, and largely unobserved, the plants have established themselves, grown and flourished, and greatly enhance the visitor experience.
When the Friends were raising money for the Archives’ refurbishment we decided that the names of donors should be displayed near the entrance. The idea of a ‘donor tree’ evolved, with donors’ names being written on the leaves.
A grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain, together with a contribution from the Friends, enabled the commissioning of illustrator Imogen Harvey-Lewis. Her artwork has been installed during the enforced closure and now greets visitors on their arrival. Drawn in her characteristic humorous style, donors’ names adorn the leaves and falling apples, while human figures, birds and animals lurk playfully in the branches.