A Victorian shopping experience at the City Museum

Press Release: 24/02/2011

Hunt's the Chemist in City Museum

Pop along to a Victorian Day at the City Museum on Saturday 26th February, 10am to 4pm, and discover how the Victorians shopped. Visit two reconstructed period shops, Hunt’s the Chemist and Foster’s Tobacconists, spanning both the Victorian and Edwardian ages, and meet our helpful costumed shop assistants.

Some visitors may find Hunt’s familiar as it continued trading at 45 High Street, now the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop, until 1980 shortly after which it was reconstructed in the City Museum as it would have appeared in about 1900.

Others might enjoy stepping back in time in Foster’s tobacconists. Thomas Foster’s shop was established at 34 High Street (now Timpson’s) in the Pentice, or the Piazza as it was then called, in 1871. Apart from the installation of electricity in 1938 the shop hardly changed during its 103 years of existence. With its immaculate 19th century interior and complete range of stock spanning several decades Foster’s is a highlight of any visit to the museum.

Commenting on the event, Mark Barden from Winchester City Council’s Museum Service, said “If you enjoyed the recent BBC programmes covering the history of shops on the High Street and the Victorian Pharmacy you will not want to miss this opportunity to experience the authentic period atmosphere of our shops in the City Museum. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be on hand to help bring the Victorian age to life.”

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Portfolio Holder for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council, added “The team at Winchester Museums organise a number of interesting events during the year to bring history alive for visitors. This new event will appeal to visitors of all ages, and the best thing is that none of our exhibits are for sale so this is one shopping experience that won’t cost you a penny!”

Admission is free, no booking required – just turn up on the day.  For more details contact Winchester Museums museums@winchester.gov.uk, or telephone 01962 863 064.