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Watts Gallery opens to the public on Saturday 18 June

Posted 16th June 2011
Watts Contemporary Gallery

At last the sun is shining, the herbaceous border is growing, the Compton pots are installed, the benches are out, the wisteria is growing and Watts Gallery opens to the public on Saturday 18 June. In preparation for this great day, we have had a number of exciting opening events. Each event has brought another group of people who have helped in different ways in completing the Watts Gallery Hope Restoration Project. The visit by TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall was a memorable event where all of our benefactors and donors could celebrate their achievement in showing faith, hope and charity towards the Watts Gallery Trust in its hour of need.

With the huge effort of a talented group of craftsmen, builders, the architect, and the Curator, Mark Bills, who has achieved a wonderful hang of the collection, and produced fascinating guides and books to mark the re-opening of Watts Gallery, we can now return to business as usual. But will it be the same? We now can welcome people with disabilities, we can offer researchers a treasure of libraries and archives and collections of photographs, we can give visitors a delicious tea and cake, we can offer a wonderful browse in the Watts Visitor Centre looking at rare second hand books and Arts & Crafts items, we can show Watts at his very best through the loving conservation of the collection, and even, on fine days, we can roll out Physical Energy! The same but different.

Thank you to all who have followed us each step of the way on this journey, and like the figure in Watts’s Hope never lost the awareness that there was a star in the sky and a note of music being produced which would at the last bring us to our journey’s end. I do hope that all who visit Watts Gallery from Saturday onwards enjoy the experience and find a new and refreshed engagement with the Gallery and the Watts Collection.