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Museum in The Making

I attended Museum in The Making in Blackpool last week along with a whole host of visitors, artists and performers. I caught up with the organisers to tell me a little more about what we can expect.

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Can you tell us briefly what the project is all about?

The vision is to create a brand new museum telling ‘The Blackpool Story’.  However, this is no conventional museum – it will be a dynamic and celebratory space – a blend of museum, visitor attraction and theatre, filled with artefacts, film, music and performance.  It will be immersive, participatory and inclusive.  It will have a strong personality with a memorable and distinctive take which is true to the lively spirit of Blackpool.

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 What was the impetus to begin the Blackpool Museum project?

Blackpool’s heritage is currently untold.  The urgency is to tell the stories, gather artefacts and recognised historic buildings which evidence and celebrate Blackpool as the world’s first working-class seaside resort and its contribution to British popular culture from 1870s to the present day. Blackpool was a product of the world’s first industrial revolution, a playground for northern manufacturing towns and an international centre for popular culture. In its heyday the entire town was a place for performance, from the beach and the pier to the opera house, the theatres and the amusement parks.

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Our project intends to draw together the nationally significant historic collections and places them in the Winter Gardens, the earliest, most ambitious and most complete Victorian entertainment complex in the country.

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 The purpose of the two day consultation event was to.

  • To celebrate the project so far in particular the community
  • To test activities and idea for the future museum
  • To reveal to the public the museum plans at this stage
  • The two day event resulted in:
  • Around 4000 visiting the event

 including the extended museum team and over 190 people(Approx)  contributed to the event through various community engagement project, stallholders and volunteers.

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It was lovely to photograph such a new event and for Blackpool to finally have the recognition it deserves through the Museum. The Winter Gardens is such a perfect setting and to see the architectural plans in advance of the work was a great privilege with a number of individuals milling round to get a good look of whats in store.

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My highlight was meeting Charlie Cairoli Junior as my experience of going to the circus as a child and seeing him perform was magical. His dad has been cited as the most famous clown in the world so I was pretty excited about that.

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What a huge job it must be putting together the vision for the museum and I witnessed a great many smiling faces and positive feedback. I loved the dance sessions, especially the Lindy Hop and it is on the cards that I may be taking up Lindy Hop dance after watching how much fun it was.

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I cannot wait to see the final build and installation in Summer 2018 and will be looking forward to seeing the installation and collection in all its glory. There should be lots of educational collections for adults and children and opportunities to view the rich somewhat uncatalogued archive of Blackpool’s heritage in all its glory.

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