The museum and its volunteers have had a busy and exciting year with 4 exhibitions compared to the typical 3 exhibitions per year.
We started off 2018 with a Sport & Leisure exhibition in the January, which explored Daventry’s sports and hobbies of the past and present; from football to fishing; skating to swimming; and gardening to golf.
Highlights from the exhibition include the Hood Skittles table, loaned to the museum by Early Doors Micro Pub, Daventry and award winning disability bowler Ian Litchfield with demonstrations of ‘Carpet Bowls’. Ian invented this portable version of bowls which can be taken to various organisations, including nursing homes and local community groups to enable disabled people to participate in bowls
In May 2018 members of the Daventry Women’s Institute (WI) curated their own exhibition within the museum, with a little help from the museum volunteers, to celebrate 100 years of the WI in Daventry.
Exhibits on display included quilts and embroidery, art and photography and flower displays. Members of Daventry and other local WIs came to see the colourful displays of artistic and beautifully crafted examples of handmade items, some of which are pictured below.
To coincide with Daventry’s Arts Festival, in June 2018 the museum opened an Arts, Crafts and Collectables exhibition, encouraging members of the public to display their wares.
Alongside historical pieces in the museum collection, such as the handmade Daventry May Queen Crown, exhibits included ceramics by Charlotte Hupfield, landscape oil paintings by a local artist, Ralph Davies, and quilts from Danetre Quilters. Collectables also featured in the exhibition such as vinyl records, pocket watches and a Daventry Millennium tea set. Not forgetting the fantastic displays by the Daventry Model Boat Club on our Saturday open days.
Last and by no means least we ended 2018 with a poignant exhibition commemorating the Centenary of the end of World War One, which opened in September 2018. Exhibits included medals awarded to Daventry soldiers, silk postcards, and a Princess Mary’s 1914 Christmas tin complete with original cigarettes, bullet pencil and Christmas card – given to all the troops.
To commemorate the centenary of the end the end of World War One, the Daventry community came together to pay tribute to the 114 Daventry Soldiers who lost their lives, through the museum’s Empty Chair Project. Model kits were distributed to 34 local schools and community groups who then built and decorated a chair to represent each soldier.
The display which ran from 3rd to 11th November attracted 1329 visitors to the museum, which reflects just how much the soldiers’ sacrifice means to the Daventry community, 100 years on.
Just under half of the total visitor numbers to this display represent an entire primary school visit and an infant school visit from two Daventry schools.
Thanks must go to all the project participants, to the Museum Volunteers, and to those who contributed to the project, especially to Gerry Thompson for working with the museum to develop this poignant project.
We held our third, award winning, British Science Week event in March with our Exploration & Discovery Day where there was lots of hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities for children and families.
The museum came alive with 2 interactive performances by Don’t Go into the Cellar Theatre Company with Tea with Oscar Wilde, held in the Easter holidays and Beastly Monsters and Monstrous Beasts held in the October half-term.
Throughout the year the museum has been host to the Northamptonshire Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) who has held Finds Days for metal detectorists to bring in their potential treasure to be examined. Here’s a few items that have been found in the Daventry area.
We look forward to welcoming you to the museum in 2019!