Latest updates

17 Jun 19

Sci-Fi Saturday and School Ties...

We are pleased to announce that our Host Schools exhibition with the Royal School for the Deaf, Derby, has been very well received. It’s clear to see that our visitors are engaging with it by the sheer number of responses we’ve had stuck to the interpretation boards. One visitor said: “The exhibition made me more aware of what children were faced with from a young age.” We have been busy this month bringing together a voice-over for the Royal School for the Deaf exhibition. This is designed to help any visitors who have sight issues. It turns out that we have a wealth of great voices here at Sudbury. They worked hard on our recording day, presenting the stories from the gallery and we’ll be pulling them all together over the next couple of weeks. The projects Evaluator, Mark Lorenzo, spent some time in the gallery during June gathering visitor responses to feed into our yearly evaluation. He was also lucky enough to witness the 15th Cyberlegion casually strolling through the gallery on our Sci-Fi Saturday event day. We were over the moon to welcome the 15th Cyberlegion to Sudbury again this year as part of our space theme for the summer. They timed it well, as our newly displayed space acquisitions had just gone on display in Gallery 8, as well as in the spaceship themed museum stairs case. Whilst a handful of children did run to find a sofa to hide behind, most of our visitors were in awe of the fantastic sci-fi costumes and working models that these dedicated and skilled volunteers have created. Our old school ties are a great memory of our school days and we are pleased to announce that this month we were successful in bidding on a tie from the popular BBC children’s television show, Grange Hill. This was purchased along with a Grange Hill blazer badge and an interesting letter from the BBC telling the pupils to behave. The items have come directly from the actor who played Terry Parker in the show. They are a great addition to our collection and will be used to explore stories of both school days and children’s television programming.

The 15th Cyberlegion in the hall for Sci-Fi Saturday

15 May 19

Royal School for the Deaf, Derby, open their exhibition

And it’s here… ‘Host School: Royal School for the Deaf Derby’ has opened! The exhibition was formally opened by a visit from the pupils and teachers who have worked with us to produce this new project. It’s been a wonderful journey to get to this point, filled with insights and experiences for the pupils as well as for National Trust staff. The children have learnt about the past and engaged with stories from the childhoods of members of their community. We’ve learnt just how important it is to be a space in which communities can share their experiences directly with the public. Lucy Noble, a teacher from the school expressed at the opening that “Royal School of the Deaf is now on the map, it’s now on show, we can be proud of our school”. We hope to continue working with them in the future. This isn’t all we’ve been up to… Project volunteers have been collating the labels and comments from the project gallery. We’ve received so many great comments! A couple of our current favourites are: “I still have my Aulos recorder. I break it out from time to time and impress my friends.” And “I really, really, really like my Lego. So do my parents.” Also, one that has appeared in the gallery in response to being asked to share your thoughts on your childhood: “My brother got a rubber stuck up his nose.” We hope that he managed to get it out! Acquiring new objects for the collection continues. The project is making huge progress in making our collections more representable of childhoods in the mid to late 20th century. This month we’ve added a Fairy Liquid bottle from the 1960s – it might not instantly say childhood (unless you were tasked with the washing up as a daily chore!), but many of us were inspired by programmes such as Blue Peter to make toys with household items such as this bottle. We hope that this item will be on display soon as part of our space themed displays which are planned for gallery 8.

Opening Event for the Royal School for the Deaf, Derby, Exhibition

10 Apr 19

Smarties and space men...

It’s been a month of preparing for exhibitions, our collaboration with the Royal School for the Deaf draws closer, filming is complete and is being edited. The interpretation is finalised and is about to be sent to the printers, we will be recovering all the boards and also the open storage window in the project gallery. The plinths have arrived, the objects have been gathered and the handling items are being prepared. The exhibition will open on the 4 May. The school is also due to visit for their official opening event on the 15 May. We have also added some more sweet and chocolate themed acquisitions to the display in the case at the bottom of the museum stairs. Among them are an earlier example of a Smarties tube, from the 1970s, a Kit Kat wrapper and some colourful plastic sweet containers. Alongside this and in readiness for the summer theme we’ve been researching and acquiring a group of space themed items. We’ve successfully obtained a classic tin ‘fighting robot’ and a rare Action Man Space Ranger ‘ROM’ figure, known from the Marvel comic books, as well as space themed walkie-talkies, a space rocket toy and a full astronaut dressing up set! We’ve added more ‘labels’ written by the visitors to the displays in the project gallery. We’re always impressed with the insight that our visitors have and their fantastic memories! We have also enjoyed seeing the Lego creations made by our visitors. We’ve received lots of positive feedback about having more handling items in the gallery. The Fisher Price record player appears to be extremely popular!

New item in the exploring childhoods collection, vintage smartie tubes