An exhibition of Shops Now And Then at Crewkerne Museum has encouraged over 30 shops and businesses in the town, to take part. The black and white photographs from the late 1890’s to around the mid 1900’s, can be seen in many shop and office windows. Many of the photographs were taken by Mr Frederick George Christopher. Crewkerne Museum has over 500 photographs of the town in its archives, with many currently on display in the museum’s newly decorated and refurbished Exhibition Room.
Photographs of the Town Hall and informative text, make interesting reading. In 1511, the historic building in Market Square was known as the Shambles, with some 37 butchers stalls, selling their meats. It was rebuilt in 1742 and in 1787 housed a silk factory. In later years it became the Palace cinema, museum, reading room and library. The upstairs Victoria Hall was visited by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on May 2nd, 2012 as part of her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
On June 22nd in the year 1897, the townsfolk had cause to celebrate another royal occasion, the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, which is understood to have been captured on camera, and is one of the photographs on display at the museum. Crewkerne has seen many family businesses over the years, disappear from its main streets but the historic value of the buildings which still remain, with their Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architectural features and the current showcase of black and white photographs and museum exhibition which runs until June 10th, is keeping certain traditions and memories alive for today’s generation and for future generations to come.
(This report is an abridged version of a special feature, which will be published in the Western Gazette)