‘Edwardian Summer’ exhibition

Press Release: 02/07/2013

Stratton Park, East Stratton

Whatever the weather has in store for us this summer you can always visit City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre and take a look at ‘Edwardian Summer’, the latest free family-friendly exhibition by the Winchester City Council Museums’ team.

The opening years of the 20th century before the outbreak of the First World War are often viewed as the ‘Edwardian Summer’, a romantic golden age of long summer afternoons and garden parties before the onset of the horrors of war. This exhibition allows visitors to see what life was actually like for people in Edwardian Winchester and the surrounding district in the period 1900 to 1914.

Fans of Downton Abbey can discover what life was like in local ‘Big Houses’ such as Stratton Park at East Stratton, where in 1911 the Earl of Northbrook and his family employed 21 staff in their country house and at least 19 more as estate workers.

Modern residents of Winchester and the surrounding villages will be able to find out how their ancestors worked, lived and played, and also how they got together to celebrate royal and other events over 100 years before our own Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations last year.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Winchester City Council, said:

The City Council Museums’ Team has assembled an impressive collection of interesting old photographs and objects in ‘Edwardian Summer’, not only from the City Council’s own collections, but also kindly lent by private individuals and other museums. Seen together for the first time, they provide a fascinating glimpse of life in Winchester and the rural parishes 100 years ago.

Ross Turle, Curator of Recent History at Winchester City Council Museums, said:

There will be lots of things to do in our family-friendly summer exhibition including quizzes, puzzles and art activities. As part of Winchester Discovery Centre’s Creepy House extravaganza, we will also have a country house mystery for you to solve.

A number of special events accompany ‘Edwardian Summer’. On Tuesday 13 August there is a free drop-in activity in the Discovery Centre, where families can come along and make their very own ‘Magnificent Flying Machines’ based on the Wright Brothers’ Flyer. A week later, on Tuesday 20 August visitors to City Space will be able to meet museum volunteers in period costume representing some of the staff required to run an Edwardian Country House, and there will be a chance to handle real objects from the time.

‘Edwardian Summer’ runs from Saturday 13 July to Sunday 8 September at Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, and admission is free.