FoNS Blog Autumn 2020

November is the month that signals both the ending of the transition to winter and with it the closing of the Ship Centre…it’s just too darn cold to open up the sizeable and uninsulated industrial unit to visitors…..(I have yet to discover how our resident curator copes with a climate more attractive to covid vaccine storage than to those seeking a place to comfortably gaze upon ancient timbers in awe and wonder).

This year has been different in a number of ways, firstly ,there was and is the matter of covid safety with regards to opening the Ship Centre to visitors…surmountable if given sufficient time and planning…more on this below secondly, the closure of shows and outdoor events throughout the year meant no further opportunities to get out and about with our travelling exhibition after our one and only weekend at The Original Re-enactors Market near Coventry in March…more on this below too thirdly, our AGM could not take place this autumn…well not in the physical world…but the small matter of a pandemic was not going to stand in the way of bureaucracy…even more on that below.

However, 2020 did provide some unexpected opportunities, the gift of lockdown presented us volunteers with time to explore the world of digital technology and the many ways it can be beneficial to FoNS firstly, taking the reluctant decision to keep the Ship Centre closed gave us the much needed time to embark on our long planned pictorial displays depicting construction and use of Great Ships like ours, new pole lathe and the associated tools for working with timber, painted floor, new improved digital displays for showing the new 3D animation of our Ship, as well as the usual old favourite tv clips and documentaries.

Secondly, some markets, including the one we had booked in to at Ludlow this month, took the decision to go ahead virtually thereby reaching a greater audience, so with many grateful thanks to Jerry Cross for his filming expertise, Dr Toby Jones for his time in giving an edited presentation, and Rob Kenny for organising the filming and for liaising with Ludlow, we now have three short clips to offer up for Ludlow’s Virtual Medieval Christmas Fayre this year and to use for future virtual events and talks.

Thirdly, we got to hold our AGM using Google Meet, with members of the Friends getting to sit in both warmth and comfort simultaneously…a first for us all! Details of this year’s new elected committee has been updated on our website. Having Google Meet also gives us the potential to connect with our enthusiasts near and far…and opens up possibilities for on-line talks.

There is still much to be done at FoNS HQ over the winter…the production of more video blogs…embracing and embedding more ways of working digitally….finding new ways to fund raise….

Ludlow’s Medieval Christmas Fayre

Less Than 1 Week To See Ludlow’s Medieval Christmas Fayre, 28th – 29th November 2020. To see Dr Toby Jones’ talks and the many other excellent exhibitions and traders follow the link

It is anticipated that the coronavirus threat will remain with us well into 2021, and so Spring opening looks dubious for now but we’ll be sure to keep you all updated on this. Long after covid vaccines have returned us to normal life, FoNS will continue to embrace the new, and surprisingly, straight forward digital world, as a way to connect with you all wherever you may be and whatever the future may hold.

Stay safe, stay well…thanks for your unswerving support, from all of us at FoNS.

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