This is not the first time Salisbury Museum has had to postpone special exhibitions – consider the year 1914 – the 50th anniversary of the opening of the St Ann Street premises.
A friend doing a ‘lockdown’ clear-out came across this hardcover book ‘The Festival Book of Salisbury – Published to commemorate the Jubilee of the Museum’. It was probably bought (for three shillings) by her grandparents.
The then ‘Resident Curator of the Museum’ and Editor of the book was Frank Stevens. He was the son of the former ‘General Curator’, E T Stevens and a nephew of Dr Humphrey Blackmore, who was Honorary Director at the time (and we know of his complicated romantic liaisons now, thanks to Martin Callow’s research). As we have seen from the blog about the Read family, the museum was then very much a private and family affair, with three Read brothers and four Blackmores all involved during the first fifty years.
As the unpaid ‘Resident Director’ Frank Stevens would have lived in the accommodation built adjoining the galleries and office, just to the west, along St Ann Street.
In the book he writes a foreword entitled ‘Invitation to the Reader’ and states he wishes the reader ‘to open the door and step inside. He will be thoroughly at home within these pages, and able to wander as he lists, just as if he were in truth strolling within the confines of his own city, with all the pride and independence of a citizen of New Sarum’.
The book contains a dozen scholarly articles on a variety of topics including The Great Bustard, George Herbert, The Giant and Hobnob, Fossils and Prehistoric remains of Salisbury and the ‘Old’ Salisbury Journal.
In his ‘Au Revoir’ at the end of the book Stevens discusses museums thus ’The days of musty fusty museums are past, the era of the official guide has begun, and as far as we can, it is a “point of honour” to show you round, to find out your tastes and if possible gratify them. Perhaps you have no particular interest in Museums as a class. That is probably because you have never visited one where you have been looked after, and where the objects of interest have been pointed out to you’. Do we recognise ourselves here, Stewards??
He signs off with this paragraph: ‘There is yet one other object in the Museum which is of supreme interest to us. It is a little box at the door: you should not miss it, and on it is a ticket which records the fact the visitors on average have contributed less than a penny apiece for the upkeep of this fine collection. Surely you can do better than that’. At this stage the museum did not charge entry and relied on ‘Subscribers’ (like our Members) and donations. Early minute books indicate that finance was always a struggle. A familiar story!
It is not clear from the book what the museum planned for its festival which the foreword (written in December 1914) says is postponed ‘owing to the European crisis’. The Museum Committee having started the publishing process of the book, decided to continue with it. I guess by the time the war was over the idea of such a celebration no longer had any relevance. During the war the museum had received a large bequest from the late Dr Wilkes and plans were afoot for enlarging the premises.
Rosemary Pemberton -with thanks to Frances Ryan and Peter Saunders.
We are tempted to say “Nothing Changes”…! Thank you Rosemary.
Last week we had a very interesting ‘mystery’ photo from the museum archives, courtesy of Alan Clarke.
The mystery was, what was the burnt out building in the middle of the photograph? The clue was the church, top left.
St Thomas’ church, by the Market Square of course. So the burnt building was very much in the centre of the city, just south of the Market. It was the yard and buildings behind the Old George Inn.
Alan supplies further photographs to explain. The date is 1945.
The street front section survived, and still does, of course, as the entrance to the old George Mall.
Below is a description, from a redundant BBC Wiltshire website, of the Old GeorgeInn from 2004, before it became home to the Boston Tea Party cafe. It was possible to tour the then empty inn on special open days.
“Through a door on the High street, in Salisbury, through a maze of offices, fire doors and breeze block corridors and before you know it you’re back in the 15th century.
Well not exactly but you will find yourself inside an ancient medieval hostelry aka The Old George Inn.
The Old George Inn, now perched above the main entrance of the Old George Mall, has been providing bed and ‘board’ since 1364.
But it hasn’t been open to the public since the mid 90s when its last incarnation, The Bay Tree Restaurant, closed down.
Since then the Inn, with its entrance blocked off from the street below, has languished disused, empty and closed to the public.
But be warned, with steep steps, a warren of corridors and uneven floors it’s not for everyone. But if you are able it’s well worth it.
As you push open the last fire door, leaving the mall behind you, you enter a remarkable wood-panelled banqueting hall.
Trussed together by a forest of pillars and oak beams, the great hall not only boasts a minstrel’s gallery but an intricately carved Jacobean mantelpiece.
Above you, on two beams ends, hang two crudely carved figure heads of Edward II and his Queen Isabella.
Queen Isabella, nicknamed “the she-wolf of France”, was fiery to say the least and had her husband done to death which might explain why they appear to be glaring at each other.
The bay-window, overlooking the high street, was built in 1453 at a cost of just £1.00 by some Italians doing a spot of moonlighting from their work on the Cathedral.
But the most impressive part of the Old George Inn has to be its heavy weight celebrity guest list. The diarist Samuel Pepys booked in for a night where he “lay in a silke bed and had very good diet”. But he found the bill so exorbitant that he became “mad” and had a row with the landlady and moved to a cheaper inn the next morning.
In 1645 Oliver Cromwell stopped off at the Old George for bed and breakfast on his way to joining the army and it also crops up in Charles’s Dickens’s novel “Martin Chuzzlewit”.
Even William Shakespeare and his strolling players are said to have performed a “one night stand” in the Inn’s courtyard which once stabled up to 50 horses.”
It was all redeveloped in the 1990s with archaeological excavation taking place as appropriate. You might like to read more about that here.
…the new – online – exhibition at The Salisbury Museum.
Access it here, or from the front page of the museum website.
Bridget Telfer, whom we all know as Volunteer Co-ordinator, but who also, as a result of NLHF funding, is now tasked with the new Salisbury exhibitions at the museum, has adapted longer term plans to the current circumstances.
A gorgeous collection of items from the Salisbury archives has been photographed, and presented with brief notes, for our interest and pleasure.
We are also invited to get involved. Welcome to the new exhibition…
…first published in Fisherton Informer February 2020 and included here with permission from editor Frogg Moody.
Humphrey Purnell Blackmore (1835–1929) was an important figure in the history of Victorian and early twentieth century Salisbury. He was a noted local doctor, in private practice until 1927, and at the Salisbury Infirmary, from 1874 to 1879, as well as involved in other professional work. He was also a noted archaeologist, and was involved in the early years of both the Salisbury and South Wilts Museum, and the Blackmore Museum which were co-located at premises in St Ann Street and merged in the early twentieth century. He eventually became Honorary Director of the Salisbury and South Wilts Museum.
He was a talented artist. However, behind this distinguished career lurked scandal (later apparently forgotten), which was well-known in 1860s Salisbury and reported in the local press. So this article is not about his public or professional life, although there is an interesting story to be written there as well, but about Humphrey Blackmore’s early private affairs – his irregular relationships with two women caused scandal locally and legal disputes between him and his partner in medical practice, Martin Coates. The scandal and the reaction to it are interesting for a number of reasons; in particular they reflect the social attitudes of the time. Also his divorce, which we will come to later, was one of the divorces to be tried under the relatively new Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes which opened at the start of 1858 (created by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857). This had made it much easier for couples to divorce, which prior to 1858 was extremely difficult.
Blackmore’s subsequent respectability and eminence as both an archaeologist and museum curator (and indeed as a doctor) is a fascinating contrast to this earlier scandal.
The life of Humphrey’s elder brother William Blackmore (who figured in Humphrey’s affairs as well, as an advisor), has been more widely studied than Humphrey’s and he was the subject of a recent biography. He was similarly a man of contrasts. He was a lawyer and entrepreneur and also a collector of archaeological artefacts, especially Native American ones. He founded the Blackmore Museum which opened in September 1867 (at more or less the same time as Humphrey became involved with Annie Mills (see below) but financial difficulties caused him to commit suicide in 1878.
William, Humphrey and their siblings were the grandchildren of the Reverend Richard Blackmore, who was Rector of Donhead St Mary, and died in 1847. Humphrey was born in 1835 and attended Queenwood College (between Buckholt and East Tytherley), which eventually burnt down in a fire in 1902. He trained as a doctor and became the pupil of a local doctor in Salisbury, William Martin Coates (1811-1885). In 1857, despite a considerable difference in age between the two men, Humphrey became the partner of Coates. The partnership was based in Endless Street. Along with his brother William Blackmore, Coates was an important figure in the story of Humphrey’s affairs. When Humphrey became Coates’ partner, a partnership agreement was drawn up, allowing either partner to refer to legal arbitration if they felt they had grounds for dissolving the partnership.
In 1864 Humphrey formed an “immoral connection” , that is he had a mistress (we would now say he had an affair) with a Miss Forrest (of a “lower station in life”, also spelt “Forest”), who was subsequently reported to have emigrated to Australia in early 1867. All might have been well for Humphrey, but towards the end of 1866, rumours reached Coates through patients that Humphrey had been “keeping a young woman named Forest in Salisbury as his mistress.” Humphrey admitted this was true and expressed regret for what occurred, and agreed to put an end to his connection with Forest. (During this period Humphrey was involved in the conveyancing of various properties in St Ann Street in connection with the development of the Salisbury and South Wilts and Blackmore Museums, so he was a busy man!) In the meantime Coates wrote to Humphrey’s brother, William Blackmore (who advised Humphrey in this matter, as in the later scandal), on 21 November 1866, He made a proposal that the partnership be dissolved. In a later letter to Humphrey on Christmas Eve, 1866, he threatened, to apply to “file a bill in Chancery for a dissolution”, as indeed he actually did later, after the Mills affair (see below).
In February 1867, Humphrey obtained a legal opinion from the barrister Nathaniel Lindley (1828-1921, later Lord Lindley) on whether Coates could succeed in obtaining a dissolution in the Court of Chancery on grounds of his (Humphrey’s) immorality. Lindley’s view was that Coates could not obtain a dissolution on those grounds. However Humphrey eventually offered out of his share in the partnership income to guarantee Coates against any pecuniary loss arising from his (Humphrey’s) connection with Forest, due to patients who might be scandalised into going elsewhere for their medical requirements. This financial arrangement was carried out by an agreement dated 30 May 1867.
Despite the legal wrangle with his partner over the Forest affair, not long after this in late 1867 Humphrey became attached in Salisbury to another woman Annie Mills (or Reeve, or Rickaby, her maiden name). This would be quite out of order even today as she was initially his patient, and also (apparently) married. Annie Mills seems to have been quite a complicated woman, and unravelling the history of her marriages or supposed marriages, and untangling events in 1867-1868 is quite hard. in 1868 she was reported in the Salisbury Journal as “The lady with Four Husbands”.
At the time Humphrey met Annie in July 1867, she was living with a Robert Mills at Church-street Villa, Fisherton, and they were ostensibly married. It later transpired that Robert Mills and Annie Mills had indeed been married in January 1866 at Carlisle, and a record of this marriage exists in the Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915, and there were witnesses produced at the proceedings. However this appears to have been a bigamous marriage twice over. Not only was it later alleged by Annie’s lawyer at her bigamy trial in 1868 that Robert had a wife still living and consequently her marriage with him was invalid, but in June 1863 she had married a man called Charles Julian Reeve. A record exists for the marriage although no record exists for her divorce from him, and he was still alive in 1868. Hence at Annie’s bigamy trial, it was argued by the prosecution that she was still married when she met Mills.
Before Robert Mills and Charles Reeve, she had firstly been married to a Benjamin Crowther in 1855, and then in 1860 she sued for divorce from him in the then very new Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. She petitioned for divorce on grounds of his cruelty but there was a counter-petition by Crowther and the marriage was dissolved in 1862 on grounds of her adultery with William McDonald. It was also alleged that she had consorted with other “gentlemen”.
Blackmore married Annie in October 1867 in Scotland, and was then divorced from her in 1868. This marriage was declared null and void in 1868 in the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. The marriage was not “dissolved” in the Divorce Court, as they had never been legally married. As a consequence of the marriage there were as many as three separate legal cases: firstly the Divorce Court hearing in 1868, secondly Annie’s arrest in April 1868 and trial for bigamy in June 1868, and finally litigation (or threatened litigation) by Humphrey’s partner Martin Coates arising from his belief that Humphrey’s “immoral connections” (referred to as such at the time) were damaging the income and reputation of the partnership.
It is difficult to be sure what are the true facts of the events of 1867, into which I will go into some detail. Humphrey’s testimony seems more reliable and certainly he represented himself as the innocent dupe of a scheming adventuress, but Annie’s motivations are unclear. What is in no doubt, as we have evidence, is that she married both Robert Mills and then Humphrey Blackmore bigamously while her second husband, Charles Reeve, was still alive. There was no divorce from Charles Reeve, and the Rev. Matthew Pierrepoint who performed the marriage of Annie and Charles Reeve in 1863 testified at Annie’s bigamy trial that he saw Reeve alive and well on 24 April 1868. So she was still legally married to him. The following account of the events of 1867 is told largely from testimony by Humphrey and others in the Divorce Court, as reported in the Salisbury Journal (the surviving Divorce Court records do not appear to include the affidavits, only Humphrey’s “Petition” and Annie’s “Answer” – both of these were formal documents). Another source has been the “Bill of Complaint” submitted to the Lord Chancellor by Westall & Roberts on behalf of Martin Coates, Humphrey’s partner, in late 1868 – see more about this below.
As we have seen Humphrey met Annie in July 1867. She was living with Robert Mills at Church-street Villa, Fisherton. The house belonged to one Ann Brown who testified that Annie came to live in her house, with Robert Mills, as her husband, in June 1867. Also living in Ann Brown’s house (as a “friend” of Ann Brown), was one Eliza Maggs, who testified in the Divorce Court. She saw Annie almost daily, and evidently became friends with Annie as well. Both Annie and Robert were (initially) Humphrey’s patients. Humphrey claimed that Annie had told him that she and Robert Mills had been separated and living apart, and that she left him on account of his conduct some time previously, and that she had only revisited him because of his having been dangerously ill, and she had only acted in the capacity of nurse! Humphrey was later introduced to Annie’s father, Robert Rickaby, referred to as “Major Rickaby”. Humphrey later discovered that he was a commercial traveller, “principally engaged in the hop trade”. He also met Annie’s mother. Around 12September 1867, Humphrey claimed that Annie told him that Robert Mills had “received a telegram requiring his attendance in London to appear before the Judge of the Divorce Court”, and he had left for London.
Humphrey claimed that soon after Annie told him that she had received a letter from her father telling her that the divorce had gone through. But there is no record of the divorce and in any case, as we have seen, the marriage with Robert Mills was bigamous. (Annie later testified in the divorce case between herself and Humphrey, that she had never told him before going to Scotland with him that that there had been any such divorce.) By this stage Humphrey was clearly besotted by Annie, and Humphrey proposed marriage to her, “but with the reservation that such should not take place for some months to come”. Humphrey then wrote to “Major” Rickaby (twice) asking for his assent who refused. Rickaby’s letter, which I do not have space to include, is quite amusing. Rickaby gave Humphrey the impression that Annie could marry, although this was clearly a deception.
Annie remained at Ann Brown’s house until 19 September 1867, when she left for London, accompanied by Eliza Maggs. She wrote to Humphrey on several occasions “in most affectionate terms”, claiming that her father was trying to compel her to marry someone else. On 28 September 1867 Humphrey received a very urgent letter from Annie, asking him to come to London, which he did. He claimed he decided to marry her regardless of her father’s (apparent) opposition, and to stop her from being persecuted to marry someone else (supposedly), but he was still worried as to whether she was free to marry again, and that her supposed divorce from Robert Mills had gone through. This she repeatedly assured him was the case, and she stated that her lawyer Thomas Thomson had told her so, but in order to reassure Humphrey she would go and ask him again. Humphrey wanted to go with her to his office but Annie said it would be better if she went on her own! Eliza Maggs also testified at Humphrey’s later divorce hearing that she had gone with Annie but implied that she was not sure whether Anne had actually gone into the lawyer’s office! When Annie got back to Humphrey she told him that it was quite useless to attempt to get married in England by licence and that Thomson had advised that the best plan was to get married in Scotland. They then travelled to Scotland, where there was difficulty in finding a minister who would marry them, until they went to Robert Martin a solicitor in Perth, who arranged the ceremony. In the meantime Humphrey and Annie had shared lodgings at James Street in Perth with only one bedroom! After the ceremony they returned to England.
Soon disillusioned, Humphrey returned to Salisbury alone leaving Annie in London. On 24 October 1867 Annie signed a “certificate” prepared by Humphrey and his brother William, confirming her divorce from Robert Mills. This is odd since the implication is that Humphrey came to believe by then that there had been no divorce from Robert Mills. Annie however later testified that she had been compelled to sign the certificate by threats and violence on the part of Humphrey and William.
On 12 December 1867 (or 16 December according to the Divorce Court archives) Humphrey commenced a divorce suit or petition against Annie in the Divorce Court on the grounds that Robert Mills was still living and also on the grounds that neither of them had had lived in Scotland for 21 days prior to the Scottish marriage. He sought a “declaration of nullity”. His London solicitor in the suit was Henry Wellington Vallance. On 16 January 1868 Annie’s solicitor Thomas Thomson filed Annie’s “Answer” to Humphrey’s petition claiming that she was never lawfully married to Robert Mills and that she or Humphrey had lived in Scotland for the required length of time, and that therefore her marriage to Humphrey was valid. However the Judge’s decision was in favour of Humphrey and in July 1868 he pronounced the marriage null and void.
During the Divorce Court proceedings, Annie had applied for alimony, which was refused! In June 1868, Humphrey, before the marriage was annulled, felt it necessary to write to the Salisbury Journal due to all the rumours which were circulating and the reports of both the divorce suit and the bigamy trial (see below) in that paper. It is worth quoting this letter in full:-
“Sir – In your report of the proceedings in the Divorce Court, on the application of Mrs Mills for alimony, which was summarily dismissed by the judge on the ground that she had sworn herself out of court, I observe that you have set forth, at full length, the statements in the affidavit upon which she grounded her application.
“I need scarcely say that these statements are entirely false and that no opportunity was then afforded me of denying or cross-examining the respondent upon them; but knowing as I do the inclination of many persons to prejudge a case in its preliminary stages, I think it necessary, through your columns, that I should request the public to suspend their judgment upon my conduct until the final hearing of my petition, when I shall prove that the allegations to which I have referred are false in every important particular, and that a base and unprecedented conspiracy has been practised upon me.
I am, sir, yours sincerely,
In the meantime Annie had been arrested for bigamy in April 1868 (at the instigation of Humphrey’s side) and her trial took place in June 1868 at the Central Criminal Court in London. In the Salisbury Journal Annie was described as “a well-dressed and good-looking woman, named Annie Reeve, otherwise Annie Laura Rickaby”. The first witness was the Rev. M.A. Pierrepoint, who, as we have seen, had performed the marriage ceremony between Annie’s second husband Reeve and the prisoner. Pierrepoint said that had seen Reeve again in April 1868. Annie’s father Robert Rickaby testified that Reeve had married Annie under a false name, but had died of smallpox. Rickaby also said he did not know how Annie had got the name Laura (cited as her second Christian name)! He also said that Annie had not been divorced from Robert Mills. The Recorder also said she gave herself a new Christian name. The jury returned a verdict of guilty, and she was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.
Humphrey’s partner in medical practice, Martin Coates, became aware of Humphrey’s relationship with Annie quite early on, but it is unclear when. On 1 March 1868 Coates wrote a “long and friendly letter” to Humphrey. In July 1868 Coates’ solicitors Westall & Roberts wrote to Humphrey’s solicitor Charles Whatman (who had been Mayor of Salisbury 1861-2) saying that Coates had for a long time tried hard to persuade himself and others that the version given him by Humphrey was the true one, but stating that it would be greatly in Humphrey’s own interest to consent to an immediate dissolution of the partnership “having referees if necessary to settle the terms”. Coates wanted a new partner to help him in the practice instead of Humphrey and had the conviction that several of the best patients would go elsewhere.
Coates wanted to dissolve the partnership through a court case under the terms of the partnership agreement drawn up when Humphrey joined him as partner. At the end of 1868, the Coates side became more conciliatory offering arbitration on the financial settlement out of court, although the final amended version of Coates’ “Bill of Complaint” was only filed in the Court of Chancery in February 1869. This set out the case for dissolution, asks for assets and liabilities to be divided up, that Humphrey be restrained from setting up in practice as a doctor in Salisbury or within 20 miles, that Humphrey pay the costs of Coates’ suit.
The case of Coates v Blackmore however did not get as far as the court, as the Arbitrator, Charles Skirrow, was able to fix the terms of the dissolution of the partnership. The case was settled out of court in 1869 by the Arbitrator and the partnership dissolved as from 21 July 1869. The requirements in the Bill of Complaint that Humphrey not practice as a doctor in the Salisbury area, and that Humphrey was to pay the costs of Coates’ suit, were not included in the settlement, otherwise Humphrey’s later career might have been different! Skirrow’s “Award” also appended an apology from Martin Coates, stating that the charges against Humphrey included in the Bill of Complaint were unfounded.
Humphrey lived for another 60 years. In October 1877, he married Augusta Sophia Gore, but the marriage was childless. He died on 2 February 1929 at Vale House, in St Ann Street, where he was already living in 1867 at the time of the scandal. Vale House is still standing in St Ann Street, next to the old site of the Salisbury Museum, now converted into flats. His wife died in 1931. I am hoping to continue my research and discover something about what happened to his so called “mistress” Miss Forest after she emigrated to Australia (if she did), the location of Church-street Villa, where Annie Rickaby or Mills lived in Salisbury, and particularly Annie’s subsequent life after the divorce, which could prove interesting!
My time volunteering at Salisbury Museum over the last few months has been fantastic. I began volunteering as a way of gaining experience of life in a museum. Having done a History degree I wanted to take further my love for the subject, how it is represented and displayed, how we as the public engage with history through sites such as the Museum, and I applied for an MA Museum Studies, which I will be starting at the beginning of October.
It has been amazing to participate in a variety of aspects of the museum. Beginning with the engagement volunteering I was able to spend time in the galleries, interacting with staff and visitors, whilst learning about Salisbury through the truly fantastic material held by the Museum. I very much look forward to seeing how the Museum develops and particularly enjoyed Adrian Green’s talk at the coffee morning this summer.
I feel very fortunate to have participated in the Rex Whistler archive project. This was not something I had expected and has been an incredibly enjoyable, interesting and satisfying project to be a part of. I recently visited Mottisfont and was thrilled to see the Whistler room. Having seen Rex’s plans for his murals and then to see his finished pieces was a very special moment for me.
Thank you to everyone at the Museum, my experience with you has been so enjoyable and totally invaluable.
Our beloved Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows is finally where it belongs, in our exhibition gallery! After five years it is back for six months, right into the landscape that inspired Constable.
It didn’t come here by accident but it was carefully planned for. For the last year we have been working hard on this project. As the exhibitions officer I was responsible for arranging everything from the layout, transport, insurance and loans, to painting the space and actually hanging the works on the wall.
This year I was fortunate to work with Nicola Trowell, who is our trainee for this project. She helped me in doing the research and captions.
As you hopefully know by now, we are in a five year project with the Aspire Partnership (Tate, National Museum Wales, National Museums Scotland, Colchester + Ipswich museums and Oriel Y Parc). The six- footer came from Oriel Y Parc in St. Davids, Wales, it took a long way to get here. 322 km to be precise.
I am particularly proud of the third room of the exhibition, which shows Constable’s influence on 20st and 21st Century artists. It shows how important that big painting is, and how it has become part of our mindset.
The thing I have loved the most in working on this exhibition is having such a great team to fall back on. My colleagues, volunteers and everybody else that helped. We are amazing!
The A team of painters
…and don’t we have a lovely Medieval building? It was tight, with only 2cms to spare!
Hanging some works from our own collection
In our gallery, almost ready to go on the wall
My dog was very happy I was home and at last able to give her some attention, instead of the exhibition!
Expectation had been great all day. Then, on a murky, thundery afternoon, it finally appeared. John Constable’s ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows’ (1831), on loan from the Tate, London. All 1.52 m x 1.9 m of it. The only question was…would it fit through the door? Of course it would. It is an old friend who has been here before….
Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Manton Foundation, Art Fund (with a contribution form the Woolfson Foundation) and Tate Members.
Next week marks the start of a very exciting (albeit briefly stressful) chapter in my Aspire traineeship at the museum – the Constable in Context exhibition is finally opening! One thing that I really did not appreciate enough before starting the traineeship was the amount of effort by staff and volunteers that goes into preparing every small detail of the exhibition. The last couple of months have indeed been hard work, and sometimes stressful, however they have also been hugely gratifying and thoroughly enjoyable.
Since July, I have been working on a variety of projects in relation to the exhibition. To now see some of these completed, or at least nearing completion, has been very rewarding. One of the highlights of my time so far was sending the finished exhibition captions off for printing. This was the first of my projects, and one that consumed a great deal of my time for the first month of the traineeship. There was a great sense of accomplishment (and sheer relief) following the amount of time which other members of staff and myself had spent perfecting these captions – I now have a new found respect for those who have had to create hundreds of captions for an exhibition! See below for an image of the first caption I ever mounted when helping Joyce set up our Anna Dillion exhibition upstairs. For some reason, she decided not to use it in the exhibition (no idea why……).
Now that the exhibition is opening, I turn my attention fully towards education and marketing. My next two projects, currently nearing completion, are an educational resource for schools visiting the exhibition and a family trail around the Museum. I have really enjoyed this aspect of the traineeship and I am looking forward to getting more involved with the educational side of the exhibition. So watch this space!
Thursday 1 September was a date I trust we all had marked in our diaries? Certainly, many Volunteers were here….eighty five to be exact.
The Volunteers’ Summer party was a busy, and very happy affair. Many thanks to Bridget who organised everything, including the weather (a bit too warm Bridget!) and the fiendishly impossible quiz, which, nevertheless, the Ladies in Blue managed to win with nearly full marks.
Thanks to all who came, who helped set up and to clear up. We look forward to the next one!
It will be a busy weekend in the Close. The marquees are up already for the stunning Heritage and Craft Exhibition outside the West Front of the Cathedral (if you have never been you have missed something wonderful) and Plain Arts Salisbury and the Salisbury Museum have their own event on Saturday 10 September.
We welcome you to the 7th annual Paint Off, this year being based at the front of the Museum. Painters of all ages and abilities are welcome. You can buy your ticket on the day (£8 for members, £10 non-members, children £4 and £5).