Work­ing to­gether to a city's story

Have you vis­ited the Pic­tur­ing The Past ex­hi­bi­tion yet? It’s a spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween The Mu­seum of Nor­wich, Let’s Talk and Pic­ture Nor­folk - and is well worth a look, as Angi Kennedy re­ports.

Let's Talk - - NOSTALGIA -

Every pic­ture tells a story - but, over the course of time and lost mem­o­ries, that story can slip away, and all that we are left with is an im­age of an un­known per­son, peo­ple or place from the past.

How many of us have one such pic­ture among old pho­tos passed down the through the fam­ily? With no names or de­tails noted on the back - and no-one left who re­mem­bers - it be­comes a mys­tery.

That’s where the Pic­tur­ing The Past ex­hi­bi­tion at The Mu­seum of Nor­wich at The Bridewell, in con­juc­tion with Let’s Talk and Pic­ture Nor­folk, comes in. The ex­hi­bi­tion aims to show that there are plenty of clues in pho­tos to help you un­ravel their story.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures some won­der­ful mys­tery pho­tos from the Ar­chant archives at Let’s Talk’s Nor­wich of­fice, and a su­per col­lec­tion from a Nor­wich fam­ily, the Mitchells, which was given to Pic­ture Nor­folk, the on­line col­lec­tion run by Nor­folk Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice.

It is on dis­play now until Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 16, 2019, and is the per­fect rea­son to visit - or re­visit - the mu­seum in Bridewell Al­ley.

Jenny Caynes is cu­ra­tor of com­mu­nity his­tory at the mu­seum and de­vel­oped the ex­hi­bi­tion. She ex­plains: “This ex­hi­bi­tion is a very good mi­cro­cosm of what the mu­seum is about - the sto­ries of or­di­nary work­ing peo­ple. Without peo­ple talk­ing to other peo­ple about their lives, the col­lec­tions we have are con­text­less.

“I would re­ally hope that out of this peo­ple might think, for in­stance, ‘I will talk to Mum about when she was work­ing in Nor­wich,’ or ‘I’ll ask Dad about those peo­ple in the old pho­tos with him when he was a boy’ - be­cause that is so im­por­tant both for us as peo­ple and as so­cial his­to­ri­ans.”

The Bridewell has been a mu­seum since 1925, and from 2009 to 2012 it un­der­went a ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment. Jenny was project officer for the £1.4m scheme and says: “It was a trades and in­dus­try mu­seum, and when we re­ceived the Her­itage Lottery fund­ing to re­de­velop it we did a lot of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and one of the find­ings that came out of the con­sul­ta­tion was that peo­ple wanted to know about set­ting those trades and in­dus­tries in the wider con­text of Nor­wich - such as why the city had its once flour­ish­ing shoe trade. So we changed the fo­cus to ‘The Story of Nor­wich’, telling the story of the city from me­dieval times to mod­ern day.”

The re­de­vel­op­ment also saw the mu­seum be­come fully ac­ces­si­ble for vis­i­tors, with a wheel­chair lift, au­dio, writ­ten and sen­sory dis­plays, as well as a wide range of fas­ci­nat­ing ex­hibits and chang­ing ex­hi­bi­tions.

“Many peo­ple will have their own very per­sonal con­nec­tion to the things they see here, through their own story of life and work in Nor­wich,” says Jenny. “So of­ten we hear peo­ple say­ing as they are leav­ing ‘I re­ally didn’t re­alise there was so much to see . . .’”

Get along to the Pic­tur­ing The Past ex­hi­bi­tion and en­joy the rest of The Mu­seum of Nor­wich too.

Cu­ra­tor Jenny Caynes at The Mu­seum of Nor­wich at The Bridewell.

The mu­seum is a great place to pass the sto­ries of Nor­wich on to the next gen­er­a­tion. Photo: Andi Sapey.

Dis­cover the story of Nor­wich’s hat trade. Photo: Andi Sapey.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.