MORE volunteers are needed to help Chard Museum through one of the ‘most important’ periods of its history.

The museum first opened its doors 50 years ago in April 1970.

Since then, a lot of hard work has gone into improving the site, buildings, displays, and stories about the town and the district.

This year, a new lease has to be negotiated with South Somerset District Council, which will mean increased financial pressure.

Vince Lean, chairman of Chard Museum, said: “During the last 50 years the council has repaired and maintained our lovely old building, but unfortunately, this is going to change under the terms of the new lease.

“In short, the maintenance and repair of the site and buildings will now have to be managed and funded by the society.

“The primary aim of the negotiation’s, therefore is to ensure that the museum develops into a truly economically sustainable organisation that represents the community of Chard.”

In order to achieve this, the group is looking for more volunteers and experts to get involved with the museum, as it plays an important role in the town.

Mr Lean added: “We also have a small part to play in the regeneration developing a series of displays or exhibitions telling the social history of Chard in the new Boden Mill.

“During the last few years it’s become apparent that we are not only a museum but also a community space to be used by the town people to celebrate the uniqueness of Chard.

“2020 will continue this theme with plans to present a community play, a midsummer open day, heritage and apple day and our increasingly successful Christmas Tree Festival.

“Personally, I feel that one of our biggest successes has been working with the local primary school teachers and children in the town to show them what everyday life used to be like in the past.

“Last year one of our greatest pleasures was to count over five hundred exited children visiting the museum to learn its stories.”

The group needs help with governance, fundraising, marketing, managing volunteers and projects.

The annual general meeting is set to take place at the museum on March 11 from 7pm for interested people to come and learn more.