Despite it being closed, Beaminster Museum is encouraging residents to play their part in making history with a pandemic archive box.

Trustee Diana Trenchard suggested the idea as she said it is 100 years since the last pandemic and the local aspects of the present pandemic should be recorded by Beaminster Museum with individual accounts of living through the pandemic, sealed and not opened for another 100 years.

She said: “Imagine what it would’ve been like if in the last couple of years we had been able to open an archive box that had been sealed for 100 years. In it would have been a lot of articles written by people in the local area. The articles would concern their personal experiences and feelings during the First World War. These articles would not so much be a diary of events which can be read in many official records, rather they would be describing what it was like to be living in this area at this time.

“No-one will look at what is written for 100 years when the archive box is opened in 2120, perhaps at the centenary of the extension being built.”

The museum is appealing for contributions from residents in Beaminster and across Burstock, Chedington, Corscombe, Halstock, Hooke, Mapperton, Melplash, Mosterton, Netherbury, Seaborough, South Perrott, Stoke Abbott and Thorncombe.

They should be between one and five pages, which must be numbered, and text only. The article should be finished with your name and address, which are optional, your age, occupation, male or female and if you live in a village, farm, cottage etc.

They should be left in the museum post box or sent to Beaminster Museum, Whitcombe Road, Beaminster DT8 3NB and should be A4 and not folded.

Entries should be with the museum before September 30, 2020.

*Beaminster Museum will not be opening until April 2021 at the earliest.

A spokesman for the museum said: “In view of the current advice about Covid-19 and our forthcoming ‘expanding Beaminster Museum into the community project’ starting in the autumn, our planned events and the reopening of the museum for our summer season 2020 have been cancelled.

“We will reopen for the 2021 season on Friday, April 2, 2021

at the earliest.

“We are hoping to carry on with some activities in alternative premises while the museum itself is closed.

“Volunteers will continue to carry out curatorial and research work while we are closed.

“In the meantime, questions about our artefacts can be sent as usual using the details on the contacts page of our website.”

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