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14 February 2020

Memento exhibition

Memento exhibition

Loan objects that speak of your memories for a special exhibition at Wisbech Museum.

Paul McGregor from Guyhirn still has his mother's old washboard and fond memories of how his parents used it on different days of the week.

Now he's loaned it to Wisbech and Fenland Museum for its community-led 'Memento' exhibition that will open next month.

The exhibition, which will explore the role of objects in keeping personal memories alive, is being put together by a team of volunteer community curators, overseen by project officer Louise Haselgrove.

Instead of only displaying artefacts from the museum's collection, the curators are inviting local residents to come forward and fill the exhibition with their own objects and stories.

That's where Paul and the washboard came in.

He said: “This old washboard was used by my grandmother and mother on washdays. This was hard, hot work. I know my mother hated it and loathed Mondays as a result.

“But my father, who was a jazz drummer and worked with Kenny Ball and as a Union Castle Line musician, would borrow it for gig nights. It was used as a percussion instrument in jazz and skiffle bands at the time. It would disappear, only to reappear in time for the Monday scrub.”

Now anyone living in the area who would like to get involved by loaning a special memento is invited to bring their object to a drop-off day at Wisbech and Fenland Museum on Saturday, February 22, between 10am and 2pm.

At this event Community Curators will record details of associated memories and accept the objects for loan.

Owners of large, fragile or valuable objects are requested to contact the museum in advance to discuss if their item is suitable for loan.

'Memento' opens on Saturday March 7 and runs until Saturday April 11.

It's part of the museum's National Lottery Heritage Fund project Sharing Cultures: Exploring our Collections. This is aimed at providing volunteering opportunities to create exhibitions and events which have relevance to the collective daily lives of local people.

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