Museum celebrates 70 years of fun and festivities in East Dorset

The new exhibition at the Museum of East Dorset celebrates seven decades of fun and festivities in the local area. Inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year, the exhibition examines how local people have observed important local and national events since 1952. The exhibition starts on Monday 4th April will run until March next year.

Celebrating local events

Members of the community were invited to contribute to the exhibition by sharing stories, reminiscences, photographs and memorabilia. Celebrations include the Queen’s coronation and jubilees, local carnivals held at Wimborne and Verwood, ‘The Magpies’ (Wimborne Town FC) historic win in the FA Vase final in 1992, and how we marked the millennium. East Dorset towns and villages including Wimborne, Verwood, Witchampton and Shapwick have contributed photographs and artefacts.

During 2022, the museum will celebrate other special events including 400 years of Dorset button making and the museum’s 60th birthday. The celebratory theme will be carried through to different parts of the museum, including the garden, the shop and the Tea Room. The museum’s Little Explorers activities over the summer will include various themed events.

Celebrating people

Community organisations were invited to create celebratory pennants to represent their groups. These pennants will be displayed in the new exhibition after Easter.

The museum has launched a ‘Celebrating Ourselves’ portrait competition inviting local school children to become a part of history and also feature in the exhibition. Children have been asked to create a portrait of themselves as their ‘best selves’ be they artists, scientists or Youtubers. There will be a winner from each age group (KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4) and portraits will be displayed in May.

Celebrating nature

Children will also be able to celebrate nature in the museum’s garden by creating ‘Andy Goldsworthy’ inspired pieces of art from a range of natural materials provided. They will be able to take pictures of their art and post them on social media.

Chezzie Hollow, Museum Director, said: “This exhibition is very much inspired by, and created with, the local community. For the first time, visitors will be able to ‘experience’ different exhibition elements across the whole site as well as in the exhibition gallery. Interactive elements encourage people to share their own favourite celebration memories, try different scents to discover what a celebration smells like to them, and enjoy party hits from the past 70 years. The exhibition is family friendly and is a fantastic opportunity for all ages to experience the museum in a new way”.