Hat Fair ‘Living Archive’ in search of local treasures

Hat Fair is working with Winchester City Council’s Cultural Services Division to create a Living Archive celebrating over thirty years of the city’s internationally renowned street arts festival.

The two organisations will be collecting items which will form the basis of a colourful exhibition destined for the new City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre next summer. 

Sian Thomas, Hat Fair’s Director of Celebrations, said, “We would love people to dig through their attics and search through their memory boxes to find photos, banners, posters, costumes and any other memorabilia which might form part of our archive.  It’s very exciting for Hat Fair to be able to launch this project with Winchester City Council, as it represents for us the opportunity for local people to share their stories of Hat Fair and for us to display the collection of items we have stored over the years.”

Items can be donated permanently or simply loaned to the City Council for the duration of the exhibition. It is hoped that this collection will continue to grow over the years, as the festival has itself.

Eloise Appleby, Head of Cultural Services, commented that, “Hat Fair often seems to come and go in a flash, so a proper archive – overseen by one of our professional museum curators – will provide an element of permanence for this much-loved event.”

Hat Fair and Winchester City Council are also looking for volunteers to help catalogue and assemble the collection.