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The Ruthin Town Museum

'It sounds good; the words have a fine ring to them! But the ring is hollow because there is no Ruthin Town Museum. We have no place to display the many artefacts drawn from the fascinating, varied and contrasting history of this ancient settlement on the red outcrop, dating back at least to Roman times. Just for a taster, Iet me rehearse some of the possibiIities: the Roman remains found in what is now Parc Brynhyfryd in the 1980s, and held, at present, in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester (why should Chester have all the Roman action?); civic regalia belonging to Ruthin Town Council, now in Barclays Bank; the 13th century Charter; and—in complete contrast—the WeIsh Cup FinaI programme when Ruthin Town reached those dizzy heights in the 1890s; Rhuddenfab’s Handbook to Ruthin and Vicinity —the list is almost endless—and fascinating! The County Archives in the OId Gaol is, of course, filled with historical information but it cannot, obviously, display objects. But, just opposite, is a forlorn, boarded up building that is, or used to be, one of the oldest inns in town. A sign offers it for saIe at the knockdown price of £125,0O0. At a recent meeting of the Ruthin and District Civic Association committee, the idea was floated that The Star should be acquired and
transformed into the sadly lacking museum of Ruthin’s history. Of course, there is no public money for such a preposterous idea! But may there be possibly a benefactor who might set the ball rolling with a substantial sum, which might be topped up with some public money and private subscriptions? Well, we can dream, can't we? There are museums in Wrexham, Llangollen, and Mold [and now in Denbigh] but, as a matter of fact, there is an even more relevant precedent and it’s not too far away. Montgomery, Powys, is half the size of Ruthin, but its Civic Society can state , modestly, on its website, “The Old Bell, a 16th century inn, has been converted into a local history museum by the Montgomery Civic Society. Run by volunteers it is the winner of a Prince of Wales award. Eleven rooms house displays illustrating the long social and civic history of the ancient county town of Montgomeryshire”. Now there’s inspiration for you! And it’s in an old pub, too The Ruthin and District Civic Association might need assistance to get things off the floor and moving, but if Montgomery can run such an exemplary town museum perhaps we could too. [Since this was published, The Star has re- opened]
As far back as December 2009, MILES ANDERSON was arguing its case and although the suggested building is now in use, the principle remains