Billy Bragg backs Bede's World relaunch as he praises saint's work
Singer-songwriter Billy Bragg has given his support for the campaign to reopen Bede's World.
The musician has voiced his backing for the Jarrow attraction following its closure on Friday after the board of trustees which ran the museum said it was no longer financially viable.
An appeal has since been launched to see it reopen, with Crowdfunder and Facebook pages set up as part of the calls, with a meeting being held later today to gather together people who want to see it welcome visitors once again.
In a Facebook post, Bragg said: "Bede was a monk with lived in Jarrow during the 8th century where he wrote the first detailed history of the English people.
"Also a scientist, he observed that the, moon influenced the tides and how the spherical earth created the changing length of days.
"I have visited this museum and it does a brilliant job in connecting us to Bede's time but also explains how his writings still shape our culture.
"He's responsible for the hyphen in Anglo-Saxon, being the first to write that our nation was made up of more than one people.
"Bede's explanation of how the Angles, Saxons and Jutes came together to create England is quoted in the government's own material given to those who wish to become UK citizens.
"Allowing this museum to close denies the people of England, both those that have always been here and those newly arrived, clear evidence that our society has always been multicultural from its very foundation. Never mind 'who will speak for England?'
"Who will defend England's heritage from savage cuts in council funding?"
On Saturday, a picnic was held outside the Church Bank venue – with many supporters in full Anglo-Saxon costume.
A meeting will be held at 6pm at Jarrow Civic Hall in Ellison Street today.
The event, organised by the Save Bede's World Facebook group, is expected to last around an hour and is for all those interested in being involved in the campaign, but there is only room for around 50 people.
The room has been gifted to the supporters for free, with anyone going along asked to buy a drink from the venue in return for its help.
Former volunteer Hildy Harland, 26, from Jarrow, started her career as a performer at the museum and has launched the online campaign, which has already raised more than £1,990, with the Facebook page logging 1,790-plus members.
She is due to meet a financial adviser to lean how the campaigners can become a not-for-profit organisation, but has no aims of running the museum, which is leaded from South Tyneside Council.
Hildy said: “So many people have been left upset by the closure of Bede’s World and they’re so passionate about making sure it re-opens.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support. I’ve had people get in touch from across the world, even America.
“We’re all busy people and have our own careers. We don’t want to became a new charitable trust.
“I have been told it would cost £250,000 to keep Bede’s World running, so it would be crazy to think we could generate that ourselves.
“We do want to show an investor just how much Bede’s World means to people and then they will be able to use the cash we raise to give it a kickstart.”
To donate to the campaign, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-bedes-world-museum or search for ‘Save Bedes World Museum’ on Facebook.