The VOLUNTEERS who run Tavistock Museum are hoping major work to the listed building will be completed in time to be able to open fully to the public next spring.

The museum has been partly closed since June to allow contractors for Tavistock Town Council to solve a dry rot problem threatening the building’s structure.

Some exhibits have been removed from display and protected from the dust created by the work which is replaceing a rotten wooden beam with a metal version to hold up the first floor.

The unexpected discovery of an underground water course has required nine metres depth of drilling beneath the 1830 building on Bedford Square to find a solid foundation on which to place temporary props to hold the building in place until the permanent beam was installed.

Even during this ambitious engineering work, the museum staged new exhibitions on the first floor and by using a different access. The exhibitions include Coronation year and a historical look at the famous Bedford Cottages. A mobile museum has taken artefacts to Tavistock Library as a way of reaching different wider audiences.

Tony Rose, chairman of the museum trust, said: “We’re confident the museum will fully reopen in the spring. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to keep reaching out to the public and protect artefects.”

The next major event is Creative People on Sunday September 10. Details: The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm.