Exhibition of Hampshire Treasures marks start of county's culture campaign

By Adam Bambury | 03 March 2009
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A stone statue of a hog on a plinth inscribed with the word "Hampshire"

A Hampshire Hog sculpted by Eric Gill, courtesy Hampshire County Council

A Roman slave token and a nineteenth century wedding cake are two of the varied items going on show this month at the new Hampshire Treasures exhibition in Winchester. It will display a host of the county’s most weird and wonderful historical curios for locals and visitors alike to peruse, and marks the start of a year-long campaign to promote the cultural aspects of the county, called 'culture-all.'

The exhibition will have a populist touch, and features a host of objects chosen specifically by the public for their “star appeal” – be that historical relevance, a quirky back-story or simply eye-catching aesthetics. Most popular with those polled was a 1950s pram, while others plumped for such intriguing items as a needlecase revolver, a beetle wing tea cosy, and an evacuee’s diary from the Second World War.

Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire’s Treasures is our first culture-all event and presents a wonderful mixture of precious historical gems and everyday items, all with their own stories to tell of previous owners and life in Hampshire’s past. The exhibition is a great opportunity to share our collections with the public and ask them to think about what items will become treasured in the future.”

Throughout April there will be a selection of events at Winchester Discovery Centre, which is also housing the exhibition. They range from a Treasured Words workshop, which aims to use the exhibition to get people's creative juices flowing, to guided tours by Archive staff each Tuesday from 1.00 – 1.40pm.

The exhibition will be opened by the Chair of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council and Poet-Laureate, Andrew Motion. He remarked: “It’s a show full of marvels, beautifully illuminating a particular place, and connecting that place to the wider world.”

Hampshire's Treasures, Winchester Discovery Centre, running from March 21 2009 – May 10 2009.

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