Latest updates

28 Feb 19

Video games galore

February has been another month with a full gallery redisplay, this time of Gallery 8. With the help of an excellent volunteer from the University of Derby, we’ve put together an exciting new exhibition displaying video game history. We’ve been able to include some project acquisitions, such as our SNES and Nintendo Donkey Kong game, but also some items that have come in as donations in the past year. To top this off, we’re using the exhibition to trial the addition of a playable multigame arcade machine in the museum. Donkey Kong and Pacman appear to be the favourites so far. New acquisitions this month have included a second version of the chocolate machine money box. This one is a pre-decimal version, which accepts 1d and is a contrast to the decimal version we acquired last month, which accepts 2p. We’re reliably informed that it was quite easy to remove a chocolate without actually putting the coin in the box! We have also found an excellent example of a 1980s child’s shell suit. This is an item that we’ve been hoping to add for some time and we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to find the right one. We had another brilliant session with the Royal School for the Deaf Derby early on in the month. A group came on to site to learn about the museum and plan out the exhibition that we are producing jointly with them later in the year. We had the help of an interpreter on the day, but our Learning Officer is coming on in leaps and bounds with iBSL. She’s taken her first exam and has shared her knowledge by teaching us ways to say greetings and thanks. Our new outreach collection continues to be well utilised by our Learning team, who spent some more time out at the hospital in Derby giving patients the opportunity to access our collections. In particular we are very well placed to work with Dementia patients, who benefit hugely from reminiscing about their childhoods.

Girl playing on an arcade machine in the Museum of Childhood

16 Jan 19

New exhibitions!

We are speeding in to 2019 with a big change around in the Project Gallery. We have had lots of help from Sudbury volunteers, and some of them have been using their newly gained packing training skills to help us pack away the Black Dolls exhibit. The new gallery will be put together in a ‘project lab’ style and will develop over time. It will be an excellent opportunity to show our new collection of road safety items, which were collected last year and have not been on display yet. Visitors will be also able to have a go at writing labels and enjoy playing with some vintage toys. Alongside this, we are prepping for a display of Computer gaming objects helped by a History student from Derby University. Owen, who is in his third year at university, is putting together displays for gallery 8, which will be ready in time for February half term. We hope that our visitors will enjoy some innovative activities in the gallery – watch this space! This month we will also be visited by Royal School for the Deaf Derby, who will be formulating ideas for their exhibition, which opens in April. They have already produced some film, which is highly interesting to watch, we are looking forward to seeing what else they come up with! Lastly, and not just because it reminds us of all the sweets treats we consumed over Christmas and New Year, we have made the first object purchase of the year: a ‘Chocolate Machine’! Made by the ‘Peter Pan’ company, and one of a number of versions produced in the 1970s and 80s, this one takes 2p to release a mini chocolate bar.

Road safety badges in the museum collection at the National Trust Museum of Childhood

19 Dec 18

The final days of our special exhibition

We only have the Christmas period to go until the closure of our fantastic exhibition ‘Black Dolls: The Power of Representation’ which, due to popular demand, was extended to the 6 January 2019. In these last days we have been looking through the huge number of drawings and comments from visitors. It is clear that our visitors have spent extended time in the gallery considering the subject. We have really enjoyed reading through these responses and are very pleased to see thank you messages to us and our partner, Museumand, for the exhibition. We hope as many visitors as possible are able to visit in the last few days. Due to the amazing response, we are now looking with Museumand at its potential for touring to other museums across the country. It will be wonderful to share it, so watch this space!

Black Dolls exhibit at Sudbury Hall