A group of Kenton & District u3a members took the train from Preston Road station on Monday 13 March 2023 for a Pre-Budget QUIRKY VISIT to the Bank of England Museum, located within the Bank of England in the City of London. The museum is home to a collection of diverse items relating to the history of the Bank and the UK economy from the Bank’s foundation in 1694 to the present day.
Initially, access to the Bank’s collection was by appointment only, with visitors escorted through the Bank to a small display area. In the 1980s, the Governors of the Bank decided to make its collection (and the Bank of England as a whole) accessible to a wider audience. At the time it was confined to the Bank’s Rotunda, but the plan was to extend it to include Sir Herbert Baker’s ‘Soane Hall’, with a separate entrance being created in Bartholomew Lane.
With this in mind a new museum was planned, which was due to open in 1994, the year of the Bank’s tercentenary. However, a fire in 1986 caused severe damage to the area above the proposed site for the museum. It was decided to begin work on the museum then, rather than repair and rebuild at a later date. Designed by exhibition consultants Higgins Gardner & Partners, it took 18 months to complete and the new museum was opened in 1988 by HM Queen Elizabeth II.