Welcome to our Traditional Dacorum Exhibition!
After many months of historical research, display planning, designing, and working with the local community, via several exciting workshops, we installed our Traditional Dacorum exhibition at the Marlowes Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead.
We held a private view on the 26th May, which was well attended, and Cllr. David Collings, Mayor of Dacorum kindly cut the ‘bunting’ at the official opening.
Our free exhibition opened to the public on Saturday 27th May, where visitors were greeted by traditional folk music from Mike Ruff and Deborah Chalmers as they viewed our displays on May Day traditions, legendary local characters, lucky charms, living on the canals, as well as local crafts and industry, specifically straw plaiting. There was also an interactive ghost map for people to add their spooky tales and displays of the wonderful artwork and crafts created during our canal art and straw plaiting workshops.
Children enjoyed the village green games, including splat the rat and ring toss, before hooking a duck and completing the children’s trail for a prize! There were a variety of additional family craft activities, including straw plaiting and designing your own patterns on a canal jug.
We organised several demonstrations of practical crafts. Visitors enjoyed watching artist Vanessa Stone create a paper-cut of a Green Man, and Elsbeth Goodwin provided a fascinating insight into the art of lace making.
On Saturday 3rd June we welcomed back Mike Ruff, who brought the mAy Team to teach us all maypole dancing. This was set up in an open space in the Marlowes Shopping Centre and brought lots of curious attention! After demonstrations were given we soon had lots of willing and happy dancers throughout the day!
We welcomed over 1,200 visitors and had some lovely feedback about peoples experiences including:
Very colourful , well decorated with a wide variety of activities for children that were related to the display. Well done!
Really interesting – Volunteers so helpful. Shame it’s not on for longer – Well done
I enjoyed reading about the ghosts because they fascinate me!
It is an excellent idea, it’s nice to know the history of your community. The peole were very welcoming and very helpful. Ready to tell you about their knowledge.
We would like to thank our lovely volunteers who supported the curatorial staff from planning to manning on the open days, your help is always appreciated! Thanks also to those who visited the exhibition, we hope you enjoyed it and we look forward to sharing more of your local history with you soon!