Museum Past Events and Exhibitions

For additional reports on recent events follow the link to the latest Newsletters.

'Malmesbury Voices' on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 in Malmesbury Town Hall

Following the success of his first talk, Bill Reed launched the Second Series with a further selection of his recordings of people's Memories of Malmesbury. This very entertaining evening included photographs of people and events being described by 'The Voices'. There will be more to come.

Visit to Westonbirt on Wednesday 15th March 2017

We had a wonderful visit to Westonbirt on Wednesday. The weather was idyllic, all the tickets were sold, the tour was most interesting and the tea was scrumptious. The Camelia House looked its best and we had time for a leisurely stroll in the gardens. Many thanks to Christine MacLachlan for organising it so efficiently.

Grand Opening of Wiltshire at War on Friday 3rd March 2017

The grand opening of Wiltshire at War Keeping the Home Fires Burning was an inspiring and highly enjoyable evening. Guests had a chance to have a drink and view the current exhibit. After an introduction by the Mayor of Malmesbury and an overview of the project, the folk singer Louise Jordan entertained an audience of 70. She kept us spellbound with many songs and fascinating stories about the unsung women of WW1 while playing a variety of instruments. It was a perfect introduction to the new exhibit.

Embroiderers Guild

In 2016 the Malmesbury branch of the Embroiderers Guild created a group of textile art works to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown. They were inspired by the gardens and artefacts from Bowood House where the finished pieces were on display over the summer. This was part of a nation wide project organised by the Embroiderers Guild with various National Trust and other private properties which Lancelot 'capability' Brown designed. The excellent works of art were displayed upstairs in the museum.

Malmesbury Voices

There was a launch of Bill Reed's collection of recordings on Wednesday 5 October 2016 in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall, Malmesbury.

Bill Reed gave a short presentation with extracts from the recordings he has made, and we were shown how they are being made available to Museum visitors.

This project, which was proposed in summer 2015, now comprises about 50 separate items. While the architecture and artefacts of the town, broadly, remain for future generations, the voices of residents, sadly, do not. The Museum Council considers that this project is not only a significant contribution to Malmesbury records, but that through the immediacy of the voices it constitutes a unique expression of the spirit of Malmesbury. New contributors are constantly coming forward or being suggested to us, and we hope to be able to extend the collection and its display. Bill included some suggestions for this in his talk, and will also welcome your suggestions and comments.

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Athelstan Museum was held on September 12th 2016 in the Town Hall

The AGM was well attended. After the business part of the AGM where we learned that the museum is doing well in numbers of both members and volunteers and is in a good place financially as well as the exciting projects coming up to do with the Moravian Chapel and the Malmesbury Coin Hoard. Those present were treated to a talk given by two enthusiastic presenters from Westonbirt School. First, Steve Kenny, CEO of the Holford Foundation and Bursar at Westonbirt school, told us of some of the fascinating history of Westonbirt before the Holford family and after as well as the building of Westonbirt house. Then Joy Bell, Assistant Head of Westonbirt told us of the the school and its students and ended by telling of the recent uncovering of the servants' bells--over 60 of them!

Hidden Gems Exhibition.

This was a charming exhibition of some of our volunteers' favourite rarely-seen objects from the collection. It proved very popular with the volunteers and visitors over the summer.

1st July to 31st August 2016 - Wiltshire at War 2: Wiltshire Does It's Bit

This was the second in a series of five exhibitions that are touring the county to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. It told the story of how the towns and villages in Wiltshire helped with the war effort.

On 1st September at 7.30.p.m in the Town Hall, Tony McAleavy gave a talk about the remarkable but little-known Saint Lull of Malmesbury.

It was another fantastic talk given by Mr. McAleavy to a packed house for the Carnival. There was much to learn about Lull, and Daniel of Malmesbury. The entertaining evening included special guests from Bad Hersfeld who were visiting Malmesbury this week.

St Aldhelm Exhibition May to June 2016.

This was a small exhibition about the life of St Aldhelm with a test of some of his poetic riddles.

Wiltshire's Story in 100 Objects. From 12th October 2015 until 13th January 2016

This fascinating exhibition told the history of Wiltshire in 100 objects. It was a collaboration between the museums of Wiltshire and Athelstan Museum was privileged to be one of the few museums in the county to host this exciting display. The objects ranged from the stunning Amesbury Archer's gold hair braids, an 1870's policeman's helmet, to a Linolite lamp made in Malmesbury and everything in between. It was very well received.