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Call out: museum seeks 1940s enthusiasts

History enthusiasts are being given the opportunity to help shape a new exhibition about Blackpool in the 1940s. 

When the lights went out across much of the country during the WWII, Blackpool’s continued to shine as a place for people to escape the horrors of the blitz and to entertain the thousands of servicemen and women stationed here. 

Showtown, the new museum of fun and entertainment due to open next year, is planning on hosting an exhibition dedicated to Blackpool’s unique role in the war effort as well as during the latter half of the 1940s. 

The museum is looking for creative thinkers with a passion for learning, who are interested in sharing Blackpool’s history. Individuals selected will for a community group and become co-producers of an exhibition showcasing Blackpool during the 1940s. 

Jill Carruthers, Exhibitions Coordinator from Showtown said: “Showtown is a place where we bring people and stories together to celebrate Blackpool’s history, and the people of the town have a really important role to play in that.  We’re looking for people from all walks of life and backgrounds to bring their knowledge and experience to the museum and ultimately to create an exhibition together.”

Showtown hopes this will be the first of many exhibitions that will be co-produced with community members and plans for it to reach visitors in 2024. Those interested in being a part of it can attend a taster session either 14th or 29th September to get a better idea of what will be expected from them and the project before they commit. 

Kari Singleton, learning and engagement officer for Showtown added: “There is a lot that goes into developing and creating an exhibition and this is an opportunity to come on this journey with us and help frame this interesting topic into an interesting display for Blackpool audiences.” 

The museum currently has freelance researchers looking into Blackpool in the 1940s. They will hand over all the research to the newly formed community group who will then decide which areas to pursue further and include in the exhibition. 

“Throughout the Second World War, the entertainment industry in Blackpool continued non-stop,” added Singleton. “Hundreds of shows and performers could be seen at venues across the town, while hotels, guest houses, restaurants and other local holiday businesses continued to operate.

“The way this exhibition will look is completely up to the co-production group – from a traditional museum exhibition to an immersive experience, the final outcome is in their hands.” 

The work by the co-production group will be fully credited in the exhibition. To register interest in the project and for more information on the taster session, please email: [email protected] or call 01253 476709

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