Sir,-After thirteen years as curator of the Museum of Richmond, I am moving on to take up a new position as Museums' Manager for Maidstone.

I will be managing the Maidstone Museum, the Bentliff Art Gallery and the Tyrwhitt-Drake Collection of Historic Carriages.

With three museums, eighteen staff and 600,000 objects, I'll be kept busy! My family and I will be moving to the Maidstone area in the spring. My wife Sally, and our two children Jack (four) and Hannah (20 months), are very excited by the prospect of moving to a new, larger home.

I am looking forward to starting my new post but of course I am very sad to be leaving the Museum of Richmond.

I've made many friends here who have assisted me in our joint effort to make the museum such a success.

I am very proud of what we have achieved here and everyone who has helped by giving their time, money or support can justifiably feel proud too.

Thank you all for your encouragement, commitment and hard work.

After I leave my colleague, Stephanie Kirkpatrick, will be standing in as acting curator until the position is filled. I know that you will give her and her new colleague the backing they need to continue the Museum's success.-Simon Lace, Curator, Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond.

Sir,-Simon took up his post in 1989, only a few months after the museum was opened by the Queen.

During the thirteen years that Simon has been curator he has built up the collection and has been able to obtain some very important items such as the parish silver from Richmond Parish Church, which is on permanent loan.

He has also arranged several important temporary exhibitions such as the Arthur Hughes exhibition which included the loan of a number of important paintings from major art galleries throughout Britain.

He has also been responsible for building up the very successful Friends of the Museum.

The number of Friends has almost doubled in the last three years and there are now almost 600 members.

Possibly most important of all, he has set up an education programme that is now used by virtually all the schools in the borough.

There are school visits almost every morning that the museum is open in term time.-John M Moses, Chairman, Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond.

January 30, 2003 16:30