The new exhibition at Crewkerne Museum reveals hidden collections, that are usually kept in storage, on how the people of Crewkerne used to live. Hidden Collection covers the town’s history, dating back to approximately 100 years ago. Visitors are able to get a glimpse of the past through objects and photographs that cover a wide variety of topics from transport, communication, work, clubs and societies. A common mode of transport in those days was by bicycle as there were very few cars around, although the railway made a huge difference to the town and people living in Crewkerne and in the surrounding villages, when it arrived in 1860.
Occupations which were the norm at that time included gloving machinists, weavers, cattle market attendants, cart makers, iron mongers and butchers, one of which Barrett Brothers that opened in South Street in the 1920’s, is still successfully trading in the town today from its shop in Market Street. Posters on display in the museum exhibition include an advertisement for the Speedwell Club. The Speedwell Club in Abbey Street was open on Friday evenings for ages 15 yrs to 25 yrs for dancing, table tennis, games, arts and crafts and films. On Sunday evenings, parlour games were also run at the Speedwell and the canteen which served refreshments was open on both evenings.
A framed declaration announces 1st Crewkerne Boys Brigade which was founded in 1969 and connected to the Baptist church in North Street. Among some of the exhibits which many post war children will never have seen before, is a clothing coupon book issued to a Mrs Genge of Hermitage Street, complete with unused lilac coupons. Clothes rationing ended in March 1949 but the Utility Scheme, where clothes and sheets carried the CC41 mark, was not withdrawn until 1952. For visitors who enjoy guessing what certain items are and what they were used for, the curiosities cabinet has seven exhibits which will definitely test their knowledge.
Hidden Collection is the last historic exhibition of this year’s open season and runs until Saturday October 28th, 2017. Crewkerne Museum is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am until 4 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am until 1 pm. The volunteer stewards on duty are always happy to help with any questions and make visiting the museum, a very welcoming experience.