On 22 May an appeal for funds to help to extend West House, to allow The William Heath Robinson’s collection of Heath Robinson’s original works to be appropriately displayed, was launched at the Chris Beetles Gallery in Ryder Street, St James’s. The cost of this is expected to be £1.5million.
Having succeeded in getting through the first stage of a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £1 million, The West House & Heath Robinson Museum Trust and the William Heath Robinson Trust were jointly awarded a grant to develop their proposals to extend West House. These will form the basis of the next stage of the bid process.
If the next stage of the bid to HLF for £1million is to be successful and the extension to West House is to go ahead, the Trusts must themselves raise matching funds of £500k. The Trustees are therefore very grateful to Chris Beetles for helping us to launch the appeal.
Chris opened the evening with a stirring address in which he emphasised the importance of Heath Robinson in the history of illustration and his personal enthusiasm for the project and interest in William Heath Robinson. He was followed by artist Michael Foreman who spoke about Heath Robinson as an artist, and by Nick Savage, the Head of Collections and Library at the Royal College of Arts, who spoke on the academic importance of Heath Robinson. Martin Verden ended by explaining what the project was about and what he hoped it would to achieve.
At this stage the Trust is looking for pledges of financial support. We hope all interested in this great artist, illustrator and cartoonist will rally to the cause.