EADT Suffolk - - Museums -

The Clangers, Bag­puss & Co tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion is on un­til Oc­to­ber 29 at the Ip­swich Art Gallery (by the Ip­swich Mu­seum). Tues­day – Satur­day: 10am - 5pm. Sun­days: 11am-5pm. Ad­mis­sion free www.cimu­se­ there, a gleam­ing Ti­betan shrine. Mem­o­ries of keep­ing Ip­swich home fires burn­ing and much-trea­sured medals of wartime brav­ery. Shiny brass Vic­to­rian tele­scopes and the glint of well-oiled Ip­swich engi­neer­ing history. By An­glo-Saxon scenes set to share the life and times of lo­cal an­ces­tors, the Boss Hall brooch glints gar­nets and gold. Nearby, 840 gold Iceni coins - the Iron Age Wick­ham Market Hoard - can’t help but catch the eye. A sandy coloured cor­ri­dor marked ‘Egypt’ leads down pyra­mid pas­sage­ways to 4,000-year-old models of an­cient life, like the butcher, baker and beer­maker. Lit­tle ones just love crawl­ing through the Howard Carter-sized hole for views of “won­der­ful things” – a dec­o­rated sar­coph­a­gus and the 2,000-year-old gold burial mask of Ti­tos Flavios Demetrios. But Bag­puss-lovers prob­a­bly wouldn’t be too im­pressed by the mum­mi­fied mog­gies.

From Ro­man mo­saics to Peru­vian pots, and great colour­ful capes all the way from Pa­cific to Eskimo ca­noes, what the Ip­swich Mu­seum man­ages to share is mind-blow­ing, yet surely just the tip of the ice­berg. On the mu­seum’s in­side bal­cony, above the ar­ray of great stuffed beast­ies, for­mer mu­seum trainee Tim is now off-duty, but the dap­per chap can’t help ad­mir­ing the fine silk waist­coat in the Ge­or­gian Ip­swich dis­play, al­though hav­ing con­fessed to dress­ing up as a Celt re­cently in the name of live in­ter­pre­ta­tion, the flo­ral bro­cade footwear is surely not quite his style. Al­most ev­ery Ip­swich era lined up here is graced with a care­fully se­lected pair of shoes. Ge­of­frey Chaucer would have ap­proved.

“I’m so proud to be from Ip­swich,” an­nounces Tim out of nowhere, yet def­i­nitely some­where. “When I was a trainee, we didn’t fo­cus on one spe­cific area of mu­seum life, but spent time in all de­part­ments. It’s all sym­bi­otic and in­valu­able. Putting things to­gether has re­ally helped my un­der­stand­ing and abil­ity to share the big­ger pic­ture.” Ah, no won­der Bag­puss and the woolly mam­mouth make the best of neigh­bours.

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