A group of local residents came together in the autumn of 2011 with the view to find ways of supporting their local museum and park. Forming a ‘Friends’ group was agreed to be the way forward with advice and help from Kirklees Officers and other ‘Friends’ groups. Two ‘Friends’ from ‘Friends of Oakwell Hall’ came to address a meeting in Tolson Museum. As a result of advice and networking a committee was formed.
A donation of £50 from Huddersfield Rotary Club meant that we could open a bank account and get started. The committee agreed that they should meet in Tolson Museum on the afternoon of the third Sunday of the month. All ‘Friends’ could attend these meetings but there would be a regular committee with officers established. A constitution was agreed. A logo was designed by Ann Luttrell which incorporated the words ‘Museum of Huddersfield’. This was adopted. The cost of becoming a ‘Friend’ was set at £2 for life and for this they would receive a quarterly newsletter.
It was agreed that the ‘Friends’ should plan for the Museum to be a place for local people to meet and ideas for social events were discussed.
Sunday 22nd May marked 90 years since the opening of the Tolson Museum and this date was chosen for the formal launch of the Friends of Tolson and Ravensknowle. At this event the ‘Friends’ were honoured by the attendance of Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees, Cllr Eric Firth and Mrs Firth. As the Mayor & Mayoress arrived they were given a guard of honour by a group of Huddersfield Veterans in uniform. At this event, individual ‘Friends’ told why they were ‘Friends’ and why the Museum and Park were important to them. As part of the meeting to celebrate the occasion, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a tree was planted by the Mayor in the grounds of the park and a cake was cut and shared.