Dear friends, 

With just couple of weeks to go until the end of 2020, we find ourselves having to write another notice of closure due to COVID-19 safety measures. It seems so long ago that we opened our exhibition Phases by Lumen to great acclaim. That was in February, and two weeks later we were preparing for the first major lockdown.

So much has happened since March. No-one predicted the new Zoom-based world we’d find ourselves in. Emerging from this world, our online talks proved to be a huge success, and that’s given us momentum to continue them into next year. We’ll also continue sharing our Collection Favourites on our new YouTube channel.

We were all set to see out 2020 with you enjoying the Museum in person. Now London has moved into Tier 3, we’ve closed our doors for now and will be directing our attention online until the New Year. I’m sure the team and I are not alone in hoping for fewer challenges in 2021, though we are aware the effects of this year will be felt by many for a long time to come.

Let us round up the year by taking inspiration from that smiling face at the top of this message. Dr. Edward Jenner was a physician and scientist, born in Gloucestershire in 1749. He was an active member of Faith and Friendship Lodge No. 270, later becoming its Master in 1812. Dr. Jenner invented the smallpox vaccine, the world’s first vaccine, and saved countless lives in turn. The 'father of immunology’ featured in our exhibition Familiar Faces throughout this year. With people like this behind us, things can always get better!

Thank you for your patience and support over this unusual year. I and the team wish you a safe and happy holiday period, and we’re looking forward to seeing you back in the Museum as soon as is possible.

With very warm wishes,

Vicky Carroll, Director