TOWN AND COUNTRY MEMORIES WANTED BY POP-UP MUSEUM

A temporary museum has popped up at Bridge Chambers on The Strand in Barnstaple, as the main museum building is closed while works are carried out for the £1.8m Long Bridge Wing extension project.

The museum is calling for locals to share their stories and memories with them, centred around five main themes:

– ‘Hatched, Matched, Dispatched’

– ‘World of Work’

– ‘Town and Country’

– ‘High days and Holidays’

– ‘House and Home’

The museum is interested in collecting stories and memories around the current theme of “Town and Country”, to help gather information for the new social history gallery display and to get information about some of the objects in their collection. These include maps and driving guides, bicycles, an Elliott’s Ralli car, Pannier market basket, Bromleys café photographs, signs and signposts.

The Town and Country theme is all about the relationship between Barnstaple and North Devon’s surrounding communities, including cafés, shops and markets like Bromleys and the Swiss Café – as well as the Pannier Market, cattle market and Butcher’s Row. Museum staff are also looking for stories about newspapers, printing and other media.

The theme includes public transport, roads, getting about, buses and trains, and in particular life before and after the Link Road and how communities have changed. They would also love to hear from people working in the police force, emergency services, local government and the utilities – gas, water and electricity.

Sadie Green, Activity plan co-ordinator, says, “We are having a fascinating time listening to locals coming in and sharing their stories with us. We would love to hear from anyone who can tell us about life before and after the Link Road and how things have changed. We also have a special Bromley’s café memories day on June 26th at the pop-up museum between 10am and 12pm and would love to hear stories about working, eating and attending functions there! If there are any ex-bus or train drivers out there who remember the old passenger and goods stations on the Strand and farmers, butchers and locals who recall the buzz of the cattle and Pannier Market and old shops, please come in and see us!”

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “The Pop-Up is always looking for community experts – everyone is welcome to visit, especially if you have lots of knowledge about any of the topics or if you used to work for one of the companies mentioned and are happy to spend time with them so that your stories and memories can be recorded for posterity.”

The “Pop-Up” museum is now open at Bridge Chambers on The Strand, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information follow and like the Pop up FB page @Popupbarnstaple to follow their progress, see events, photos and stories.

PHOTO: Bromleys, The Strand