Step back into the Sev­en­ties at cot­tage

Chiltern Open Air Mu­seum Com­mu­nity learn­ing of­fi­cer Lucy Dowling writes about the mu­seum’s bid to re­fur­nish part of a re-built cot­tage in 1970s style

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLE AND PLACES -

THERE is a def­i­nite di­vide in peo­ple’s opin­ions when you ask them about their mem­o­ries of the 1970s. Po­lit­i­cally and eco­nom­i­cally things weren’t the best for Bri­tain but in other ways the 70s could be seen as a suc­cess­ful decade.

Many peo­ple went abroad on hol­i­days for the first time, the must-have toy of the decade, the space hop­per, was in­vented and the mu­sic in­dus­try brought the likes of Abba and David Bowie on to the scene.

Chiltern Open Air Mu­seum will in­spire vis­i­tors to re­live their mem­o­ries of the 70s next sea­son with a 1970s bed­room in the new­lyre­built Croft Cot­tage, res­cued from Had­den­ham in the Ayles­bury Vale.

Although the up­stairs bed­rooms are not com­pleted yet, the team are cur­rently fur­nish­ing the down­stairs liv­ing room and kitchen/din­ing room for the 1830s, while the three bed­rooms will be fur­nished as they might have been in 1837, 1910 and the 1970s.

The Kew fam­ily were the last in­hab­i­tants of Had­den­ham Croft Cot­tage be­fore it was dis­man­tled in 1977 and brought back to the mu­seum. The three daugh­ters were very happy to share their mem­o­ries with us about life liv­ing in Had­den­ham dur­ing the 70s.

Karla was around 11 years old at the time the cot­tage was dis­man­tled and re­mem­bers her sis­ter’s room.

She said: “The walls were pa­pered with thick wall­pa­per of pale ver­ti­cal stripes in blues, greens and creams. She had a pur­ple bed throw which was the rea­son be­hind the pur­ple colour scheme of the room.

The car­pet was pur­ple with black swirls and the cur­tains pur­ple ny­lon.

“We had roller skates and played Twister a lot! My­self and my sis­ter, Joanne, also had sty­lo­phones. We were into the Bay City Rollers and had a few posters”.

We are now try­ing to recre­ate the 1970s bed­room around Karla’s mem­o­ries and are cur­rently look­ing for fur­ni­ture and other ob­jects to help fur­nish the room.

We’re par­tic­u­larly keen to find a pur­ple and white throw, pur­ple car­pet with black swirls, pur­ple vinyl cur­tains, a shag pile rug and a long mir­ror.

If you have any of th­ese items and would like to con­trib­ute to our new 1970s bed­room by donat­ing them to the mu­seum, please e-mail a photo of the item with a de­scrip­tion to Lucy Dowling at com­mu­nity@coam.org.uk. We would love to hear the sto­ries be­hind your ob­ject, so please do tel us about your fam­ily mem­o­ries, which will help to make the bed­room arte­fact you do­nate even more spe­cial for our vis­i­tors in the fu­ture.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Had­den­ham Croft Cot­tage and how you can help fur­nish the build­ing, visit our web site at www.coam.org. uk.

The Kew fam­ily who lived in the cot­tage in the 70s with He­len Hor­ler, third from left, a con­sul­tant on the project. They paid a nos­tal­gic visit to the mu­seum to view their for­mer home and in­set, Aileen Mc­Sloy, arte­fact team leader at the mu­seum with some of the items from the 1970s house

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