Last Thursday, we launched three more pop up museums created by local adult community groups and regional artists. Since January, we have been documenting our groups’ creative journeys, recording each artist session here on the blog. Our participants have put in so much time and effort, producing very diverse ideas along the way, which have resulted in three very unique pop up museums.
Only in Blackpool explores the Blackpool Tower and it’s entertainment heritage from 1950 onwards. The museum’s main structure is the Tower itself, surrounded by a variety of visuals symbolising it’s history. This includes the roof top garden, the circus and the more controversial history including an escapologist who married his partner suspended 400 ft off the Tower in 1985. The pop up museum captures embroidery and textiles with it’s beautiful sewn panels depicting the circus created by Costumologists and it’s beautifully embroidered flags, made by the members of the Embroiderers’ Guild. The pop up museum interprets the entertainment heritage unique to Blackpool Tower and unique to Blackpool, aptly titled ‘Only in Blackpool’.
Blackpool’s entertainment heritage takes many forms. Blackpool Inspirations and Alastair Price chose to explore the very quirky Blackpool, looking at sideshows and some of the eccentric characters Blackpool has been home to. This ranges from the lovable clown Charlie Cairoli to the more risque side show character ‘two tonne Alice’. The museum uses gentle humour to explore Blackpool stars’ lives, deaths and antics and is presented in a wonderful sideshow style cabinet of curiosities. Built to draw the visitor in, the museum is very interactive and wonderfully intriguing.
The fun side of Blackpool is well and truly captured in this entertaining guessing game created by Claremont First Step and Reet So. The game covers a broad spectrum of Blackpool entertainment, from the Illuminations to Punch and Judy. It educates each player, encouraging them to pick up a scratch card and guess what aspect of Blackpool they have been given from the clues provided. The visitor must find their clues by exploring the museum and make their guess before scratching the panel off to reveal if they were correct. The Game of Blackpool is highly interactive with lots of elements thought up by the group, including the themes and the use of charades. The group also contributed to the making of the museum, creating bingo balls and Punch and Judy accessories.
These three fascinating pop up museums made their first appearance last Thursday. As well as launching the museums, we celebrated the work that has gone into creating them. Before the afternoon public appearance, we hosted a viewing for participants and stakeholders. This was a very successful event where the groups involved had the opportunity to see the outcome of their artist sessions and those linked with the project got to see the pop up museums and learn more about the project.
Our new pop up museums will be ‘popping up’ in the next few months at various events and venues. Our next event is the Museum in the Making event for the Blackpool Museum Project. This will be taking place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th August, 11am – 4pm in the Horseshoe and Pavilion Theatre at The Winter Gardens.
Thank you to photographer Claire Griffiths and photographer and Heritage Champion Matthew Wright for the use of their images.