[This post is part of our ongoing series of ‘Musings from the Museum’ contributed by SGS members, visitors and friends.]
An article from your Caretaker and Life Member, Graham Cupper.
When posed with this task my brain went blank. Having worked here for fourteen years or so, there were many things going through my mind and it was difficult to choose one subject. My wife has a great interest in the Victorian items like the Queen Victoria memorabilia, calling cards and the ilk. I have always had a soft spot for the glasses (not spectacles) of which there is a varied assortment. Having tried glass blowing on one occasion, I know how particularly difficult it is to get it “right”, let alone introducing spiral twists, colour and decoration to the item.
However, after due consideration, I have decided to muse about the history of the Museum and more importantly about the various significant members that have been associated over the centuries. Even if by default as members of other knowledgeable affiliations, the list of famous people that have been involved with the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society is quite formidable.
I am not going to list their names as I am sure many of you will be familiar with them, but instead reflect upon their positions in Society. Their achievements would be too great to detail so I’ll not tackle that subject.
We have had Lords, Dukes, Knights of the Thistle, Peers, Earls, vast landowners and then there are the academics and antiquarians who have graced our role of members. By association with London Societies we have had Presidents of the Royal Society, mathematicians, astronomers, alchemists and philosophers.
The list goes on – Baronets, physicians, naturalists, collectors, globe trotters, poets (of some fame), engravers, archaeologists, painters, historians, clergymen, politicians, a Garter King of Arms, Masters of colleges, engineers, Lord Marys, expedition leaders, architects, publishers, marquesses, viceroys, restorers, etc., etc.
When you look collectively at what these members have done and achieved over the centuries for the world, it is quite humbling to think they have all been in some way linked to our Society.
There, in my mind, will never be another occasion when so many famous people will ever be associated with a single entity such as that I am proud to be a member of.
One hopes, with the current global virus situation, a gathering of like minded people will get together to defeat this modern day plague that is killing so many.
On that note please stay well, stay at home and save lives.