For more than 30 years, and over three generations, the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston has celebrated the lives and careers of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a very modest way. We think it’s time to change that, and you can help. We’ve had talks with some professionals and come up with plans to make a fantastic new exhibition in the main room at the Roxy cinema building, it’s not going to be cheap though, and we can’t raise the money alone. We’d like your help. We’re not asking for you to just give us your money, we’d like to give you something in return.
We’re offering you the opportunity to become an ‘Official Friend’ of the museum. You’ll receive a special membership card which will entitle you to free entry, for two people, to the museum for life and 10% off all purchases in the shop or online for life too. These will be high quality, long lasting cards, personalised with your name on. There will be an exclusive quality metal pin badge featuring the ‘Stan Laurel Needs You’ image which was commissioned especially for this campaign, which will only be available for the period of this offer. The final benefit is your name inside the museum as part of a display, thanking everyone who helped make it what it is, you can even have a photo too if you like. The offer will run between now and the end of March, there is no limit to the amount of people who can take up the offer, but when it’s over it will never be offered in this way again. The price for this very special membership is £50 and we hope that you can see the long term value.
We realise that not everyone has access to that kind of money, so if you want to help but can’t stretch to the full membership then you can buy the 3 year option. This will still get you a very nice membership card, free entry for three years and 10% off for three years too, at a price of £25. Although you don’t get a badge, sorry.
The final option is a simple ticket, you can pre book now to visit us at any time in the future. Perhaps you’ve never heard of us before and you’re not sure what we are. Maybe you’re buying a present but were thinking of a stocking filler or present for your brother-in-law. This ticket would be perfect for that. £8 gets two people in to the museum (normal entry is £9), if you order in plenty of time we will send you a ticket and greetings card for you to send at Christmas. Any single tickets bought can be upgraded to the three year membership at a later date.
Having thought about the Tent membership, I have changed it slightly. There are many tents which might be too far away to bring a group to see us. So the new Tent membership consists of one small button badge featuring the ‘Stan Laurel Needs You’ image for each member of the Tent, a photo of the Tent on our ‘thank you’ display, and a lifetime membership to be raffled or sold at auction by the tent. If the winner has already bought their own membership we’d happily refund them.
Fifty pounds is a lot of money, is it worth it?
Entry to the museum currently costs £9.00 for two people, if the price stays the same and you come every year then the cost is recouped in six years. If the price goes up at any point in the next thirty years then you’re laughing all the way to the bank. If you also buy everyone you know their Christmas presents from our shop then you’ll not only be the toast of the season but you’ll also have saved 10%!
What are you planning to do with the money?
The actual plan for the exhibition depends entirely on how many people take up the offers, so it’s difficult to say. However the money raised will be spent only on the exhibition, so it’s for display cabinets, story boards, video/audio displays, mounting, framing, printing, moving, shelving, specialist help etc. We’re not going to use this money to pay off debts, buy new stock, pay wages or buy a fancy new office chair for me to sit in.
Why move again so soon after the last move?
I had grand plans for the new museum when we moved, unfortunately we were forced to make many, small compromises along the way and spend money on things we hadn’t thought of in advance. This meant that the final result was less than it could have been, and the space we ended up with is far from ideal. The main room of the Roxy would give us the opportunity to expand, extend and improve on what we have to offer.
I’m imagining something like the British Museum, or the Museum Of Science & Industry, is that what it’s going to be like?
In short, no. Although Laurel and Hardy fans are a hardworking and generous bunch, the likelihood of raising millions of pounds is pretty slim. I recently read a story about a proposed Charlie Chaplin museum, the cost of this museum is said to be sixty five million dollars, well we’re not looking to get even 1% of that. What we’re trying to do is get the place up to a professional standard of fixtures and fittings.
I live far too far away for the membership to be of any benefit, is there any other way that I could help?
That’s a good question, the membership options include 10% off the online shop too, but I guess we could give the option to donate. Drop me a line and if there’s real demand for this I’ll add the option.
I’d like to keep up to date with what’s happening.
That’s great, I’ll be blogging and taking pictures during the project. If you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading ‘’newsletter’ then I’ll keep you posted, you can also join us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest news and anything else I find related to Laurel and Hardy. Also feel free to pop in and have a chat. The museum will be closed from the 5th of December until the job is done but I’ll be around most of the time, bring some old clothes and lend a hand!
When will the membership cards be sent out?
When the offer is over, we’ll send out all the membership cards and things. This will be in time for the opening of the new exhibition if at all possible, however the important thing is the exhibition so if the money is looking tight towards the end please be patient for your membership package.
I’m buying the membership as a gift, can I have a Christmas or birthday card?
Certainly, although we’ll have to have them made. There is an option in the shopping cart to ‘add gift card’, the card is £3.00 inc. P&P, and we can either send it straight from here with a message inside or send it to you to sign. The gift cards will be sent before the offer is over so the membership card won’t be included, but the gift card will have a little leaflet explaining the offer.
Can I join after the end of February?
No, although there will be some kind of membership options available, this is a once only deal. We reserve the right to think about it again in 10 years but think of how much the price will have gone up then!