Public invited to relive Purton's high days and holidays from the past with free heritage exhibition

By Jessica Durston - 4 April 2023

Arts and CultureAttractionsHeritage

A free local heritage exhibition in the Purton Museum entitled ‘Purton At Leisure’ is now open to the public.

The exhibition opened at the Purton Museum on 1 April. 

The Purton Parish Council says it provides a window into the world of all those experiences that have brought joy and respite to Purton resients over the years.

A spokesperson for the exhibition said: "Step through the inner doors with attractive stained-glass panels at the entrance. Take a pause as you climb the traditional wooden staircase, which spirals towards the museum, to look at the catalogue detailing the Festival of Village Life held at St Mary’s Church in 1988 and explore how the programme details all the clubs, groups and activities of the time.

"Enjoy the event posters boldly proclaiming the opening of our Village Hall, the ‘Mobile Talkie Pictures’, or indeed the ‘Grand Bank Holiday Fete’ with ‘Numerous Attractions & Sideshows’, which must have offered an abundance of fun and frivolity!"

Those attending the exhibition will also be able to see coronation treasures associated with George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Additionally, members of the public are welcome to step across the floor to take a journey into the history of ‘Purton’s Helping Hand Carnivals’ with an array of press coverage, photographs and programmes which will allow individuals to glimpse into events over many years - and perhaps offering people the chance to spot their friends and family.

The exhibition's spokesperson continued: "Take your time investigating the nostalgic collection of black and white images covering ‘Empire Day’, ‘The Purton Wiltshire Moonrakers’, ‘The Purton Bohemian Band’ and ‘The Purton Old Band’ – all with those most austere of facial expressions!

"Reminisce with the contents of the glass cabinet containing treasures of the ‘Purton & District Age Concern Horse & Dog Show and Gymkhana’ as well as discovering the details of how some of the most famous modern Royals enjoyed their day in Purton!

"Explore the history of our many sporting events, clubs, and societies, including the Purton Half Marathon, the Women’s Institute, the Purton Cycle Speedway Team (The Purton Panthers), cricket, bowls, and our treasured public houses."

Before visitors leave the museum, they can take the opportunity to review the theatrical posters and programmes which aim to prompt memories of performances from the village's much-loved Purton Amateur Dramatic Society.

Susan Hughes from Purton Parish Council said: "It’s all a wonderful chance to see how life was enjoyed on Purton’s high days and holidays in the past, to gain a richer understanding of days gone by, so do make some time to visit!"

Purton Museum is open from 10am - 12.30pm on Saturdays from 1 April to the end of October and on Tuesday 2 May from 3pm - 6pm.

Organisers are reminding people that the museum will be closed to the public on Saturday 6 May.

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