A NEW chapter has been opened for the group looking to preserve the town’s history.
Having been awarded museum status Rase Heritage Society, which formed in 2005, has now been awarded charity status.
And society chairman Hazel Barnard, and now one of the three charity trustees, admits it is an exciting time for the group.
“This is a big thing for such a small society as ours, and we are grateful to Mal Jones for working so hard to achieve this” she said.
“Granting of charity status will hopefully open up new avenues of funding and also allow us to claim Gift Aid, but most importantly it protects the collection.
“Because of the massive support we have received, we have suddenly found ourselves custodians of other people’s history.
“We now have a large number of items entrusted to us and the charity status shows we are treating them responsibly.”
Since its formation, six years ago, the number of items acquired by the society has exceeded anything imaginable.
To date, members have catalogued 172 items from the Brian Ayre collection, together with 96 items donated by various individuals. As many of these are actually groups of items, this adds up to more than 500 items.
So far this year, there have been 20 items brought to the society, which again can be doubled with the groupings.
“It is a strange situation to be in though,” added Mrs Barnard, who is joined by members Mal Jones and Caroline Foster as charity trustees.
“Most museums start with a building and then get the collection, but we have a growing collection but no home for it.”
The ongoing discussions on the possible use of the former magistrates court as a museum have been reported on previously in the Market Rasen Mail.
“We are ever hopeful that our new status will show the town council that we understand the implications of the collection and look forward to working with the new council to give the townsfolk what they really want.
“We have a unique situation at Market Rasen as the court building is as it was.
“It would be so nice to bring this project to fruition.”
Meanwhile, a number of items from the collection are on display around the town, including a new group of items in the Mill Road doctor’s surgery of pieces from the old Burrell’s chemist.
Other displays are housed at Jossal’s cafe, at The Hub in Union Street and the Methodist Chapel, but suggestions for more sites would be welcome.
For more information on the Rase Heritage Society call in to speak to members at the sessions held in the town library on the first Tuesday of the month, from 10.30am to 12.30pm, or log on to their website at http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/raseheritagesociety .