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The Cockney Museum - closed due to lockdown

‘Monkey’ raised for Cockney Museum that faces closure due to lockdown

Five hundred pounds has been raised to support the world’s first cockney museum, which faced closure due to the second lockdown.

Kirsten Tatool set up the fundraiser to support the museum’s owner George Major, 82, who spent all his life savings building the museum after his wife passed away last year.

Tatool, who works as a carer, felt empowered to help despite having never met George or been to the museum.

She said: “I saw him put a really heart-breaking message up so I messaged him. We spoke a bit and I just asked if he minded me doing this.

“He and his wife set it up with their pensions and all their life savings. He has no money, that museum is his purpose and his dream.

“He has done a lot for charity and used to go and talk in schools. He did it to keep the history alive. He just puts all his work into it, he doesn’t do anything else.”

Major based the museum in Stoneleigh, Surrey, due to the cheaper cost of property, and only opened it in August having been delayed by the pandemic.

With the second lockdown announced Major, the Pearly King of Peckham, was afraid his museum would not survive.

Tatool started the fundraiser on 3 November and it has already reached its aim of £500, a ‘monkey’ in cockney slang.

She said: “I’m hoping to get a bit more than that, but I couldn’t believe it.

“I don’t have a wide group of friends and for strangers to do that I just thought it was really nice.”

Tatool, whose great grandparents were Pearly King and Queens, hopes that Major can receive the funds soon with the aim of reopening in the new year.

She added: “When the lockdown ends, he won’t be opening. There are a lot of overhead costs so he needs the money as soon as possible, he cannot open.

“I spoke to him a couple of days ago. He has been struggling a little bit so I’m trying to find out if there’s any way to give him the funds before Christmas.

“It would be better as a Christmas present and hopefully I will be able to meet him during the five-day bubble.”

For more information visit the museum’s website here and to donate, click here.

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