Open letter from Peter January, Chair of the Museum Trustees


I am writing as Chair of the Trustees of the Somerset Cricket Museum. You will be familiar with the Museum and may have visited. Even so, I thought it would be of interest to you to know something about the working of the Museum.


The Museum is housed in Priory Barn, which is the only surviving building of the medieval Taunton Priory. When the Somerset County Cricket Club Supporters’ Club was wound up, the remaining assets were liquidated. Some of the proceeds were given to the Club, the rest was used to purchase Priory Barn and the land on which it sits, for the sole purpose of creating a cricket museum. Thus, the Museum really is the SCCC members’ Museum. 

When the barn was bought in 1981 it was in disrepair and considerable effort and fundraising was needed before it opened to the public in 1989. A major refurbishment was completed in 2012, to deliver the Museum we have today.

The Trustees

I am privileged to Chair an experienced board of ten Trustees. They come from a wide range of professional backgrounds (artist, photographer, diplomat, journalist, accountant, cricketer, broadcaster) and, over the years in their professional capacity, they have had dealings with the Club. As I say, it is an experienced group, but fresh blood and new ideas are always welcome.

The Trustees have legal responsibility for the management of the Museum. In other words, the buck stops there! Policies and procedures are in place to share the onus among the individual Trustees, at the same time ensuring the collective responsibility is met. The day-to-day work is done by a small, but dedicated, band of volunteers.

The Volunteers

In addition to opening and closing the Museum, the Volunteers are involved in research and the creation of new exhibits; the custody of artefacts; the website; and book sales. They handle the accounting, insurance, security systems and utilities etc. There is also the matter of keeping Priory Barn reasonably clean – no small matter in a 600 year old building. 

I am constantly surprised, and a little envious, about how much fun they seem to have. They do tell me that they would like to increase their number, because the more volunteers there are, the more frequently the Museum can open.


Like everywhere else in the recent past, operating expenses have increased. It costs over £10,000 a year to keep the Museum open. Entry is free, so the Museum depends entirely on donations and the proceeds of book sales. In some years, it is necessary to dip into reserves, especially if major new exhibits are planned. That said, the finances are in good shape. If all income dried up, the reserves are enough to keep the Museum open for at least two years.

However, these reserves will not last forever and the Trustees are always interested to hear of new ways to raise funds.

The Future

The journey from derelict barn to world class cricket museum has taken nearly 50 years. It has been a successful one because of significant contributions made by a lot of people. The Trustees are now planning for the journey to continue for the next 50 years. The plans inevitably include the need for new personnel. If you are interested in being part of this enterprise – as Trustee, Volunteer, or simply interested helper – then please do contact any of the people listed below. 

It will be worthwhile; and you will get a real sense of achievement; and it will not mean that you have to give up any of your cricket!

Thank you for reading this note. Now, let’s look forward to a great summer, with some silverware at the end!


Peter January

Chair of the Trustees – Somerset Cricket Museum

2nd April 2024


David Wood                  

Ann Collins                  

Mike Unwin                  

Patrick Draycott            

Peter January