Volunteers at Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill Museum have been mastering new technology and creating new displays in preparation for the return of visitors on Monday 31 May, and every day thereafter until Sunday 31 October, government regulations permitting. Mr Toad’s Abandoned Caravan, one of the entries for the on-line Amazing Spaces Challenge run during Lockdown, will be on show, courtesy of creator Elizabeth Hazelwood, together with magnificent Doll’s Houses built by the late Tryphena Orchard. They form part of a new temporary exhibition on the theme of Childhood.
Two residents, Peter and Kitty de Barnes, are seen here relaxing in the lounge of No 2 of the houses, while their ginger cat shows a keen interest in balls of wool or possibly fish paste sandwiches on a low table. (Tryphena invented convincing back stories for all her creations, and her own biography is no less interesting.) Held over from last year is a display of memorabilia from the advertising agency responsible for the classic Hovis ad, which will be running on one of several brand-new digital screens acquired with the assistance of a Dorset Museums Association small grant. The DMA has also helped to fund improved storage and conservation of the Museum’s archives which will be made more accessible to the community as a result of months of cataloguing during Lockdown by an expanded team of volunteers.
There is no charge for entry to Gold Hill Museum, which is open from 10.30a.m. to 4.30p.m. A one-way system helps to maintain a socially-distanced flow of visitors, and last admissions are at 4.10p.m. for similar reasons.