On Monday, 5 June HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust, visited Chartwell to see the important collection and to thank those who have supported the “Keep Churchill at Chartwell” appeal to help reinvigorate Churchill’s legacy at Chartwell and secure hundreds of Churchill’s possessions for the nation. Zoë Colbeck, general manager for Chartwell said: “It was a great honour to welcome The Prince of Wales to Chartwell today and to introduce him to staff, volunteers and some of the many people across the world who have supported the appeal.”
Last year the National Trust began an appeal to raise £7.1 million in order to secure over 1,000 of Churchill’s belongings for the nation. The response has now reached the £6 million mark, thanks to a grant of £3.45 million from The National Lottery and generous donations and pledges from the public, charitable trusts, and other organisations.
Some of the objects now secured include Churchill’s speech box, where he placed his iconic speeches, a collection of over 40 medals, freedom awards from many towns, cities and countries along with drawings and paintings of Churchill’s parents. A commemorative birthday book signed by almost every sitting MP in 1954 on the occasion of his 80th birthday is also in the mix of unique and irreplaceable objects.
“We’re delighted that we have almost reached our target,” said Colbeck, “but we will continue to fundraise so that we can complete our acquisition of the final objects in the collection, such as the Nobel Prize for Literature, and our wider project that will ensure Churchill’s legacy for future generations at the home he loved.”
In addition to securing objects in the collection, money raised from the appeal will also enable new rooms and spaces to be opened. These spaces include Churchill’s bedroom, complete with en suite bathroom, as well as the Secretaries Room which was quite possibly the organisational hub of Chartwell. Churchill’s legacy will be brought to life further with interactive interpretation and educational programmes.