Monday, March 25, 2013
Cuming Museum Fire
Devastated by the news of the fire on the Walworth Road this afternoon. The old Walworth town hall building next to the Heygate Estate houses the Cuming Museum, and that part of the building seems to have been worst hit by the fire (photo above from SE1 on twitter).
Of course it's great that none of the people working there seem to have been hurt - the fire spread very quickly - and that the same applies to the many firefighters who have helped tackle the blaze (many of them from stations threatened by Boris Johnson's fire service cuts).
But the Cuming Museum is not just a great local history museum, it also houses two irreplaceable collections, the 19th century Cuming collection of weird and wonderful global artefacts and Edward Lovett's collection of objects associated with early 20th century London folklore. I spent some happy hours researching in the latter collection a few years ago for the Folklore Society's London Lore conference.
It seems inevitable that these collections will have been severely damaged at least, if not destroyed altogether.