The public thank you from the Ironbridge Gorge Museums has been hailed a resounding success.
The museum said it gave away 3,000 tickets over eight days at the end of last month to thank NHS staff, care workers and those with the emergency services for their dedication to duty during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said workers from right across the region took advantage of the free tickets, which were snapped up within hours of going on offer.
Trust spokesman Richard Aldred said feedback for the offer had been overwhelmingly positive from everybody who had attended.
“The free thank you sessions have been a real highlight of our reopening. We had initially planned to hold them for one week, but demand was so great we extended it for a second week to try to accommodate as many people as possible.
More Covid-19 coverage:
“We put no geographic restriction on the offer and were delighted to see key workers coming from right across the Midlands and Mid Wales to enjoy an afternoon with us. We are so grateful for everything they have done to keep us all safe during the pandemic and this was just our way of giving them a little something in return.”
Feedback from the survey forms handed out to visitors was described as "hugely positive", with many commenting on the trust's Covid safety measures.
One visitor wrote: “We had a lovely day and would like to thank all the staff, especially the policeman who was happy for us to take socially-distanced photos with our children when we asked him. Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to arrange the one-way system and social distance measures that are in place.”
Another wrote: “Thank you. This was the most normal we have felt since lockdown and I know lots of effort must have been expended by the volunteers and staff to organise and get over any safety concerns. Well done and thank you!”
The trust has reopened Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse while the Museum of The Gorge, which suffered damage during the floods of February, has also opened as a free entry Visitor Centre. The Furnace Kitchen,
The trust’s café in Coalbrookdale is also open serving hot and cold drinks, cakes, brunch and lunch as well as pizza on Friday evenings.