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Victoria Seaside exhibition at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Days out in Shropshire. Things to do, history

Celebrate summer by the sea at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

The nostalgia of a traditional weekend by the sea is to be celebrated in a new exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Named after the well-known song of the same name, ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ will be open from 20th June to 28th August in the special exhibition gallery.

“I do like to be beside the seaside” was first recorded in 1909 by the famous music hall singer of the day, Mark Sheridan. The huge success of the song at the time was due to the ever growing numbers of British seaside holiday makers.

The exhibition was inspired by Shropshire Museums’ remarkable collection of early twentieth-century glass lantern slides of Edwardians enjoying the sea air.

Unlike many portrait photographs of the period, many of these pictures are often very informal and show another, more relaxed, side of Edwardian life.

his superb display of images is complemented by items from Shropshire Museums’ collection including costume and contemporary holiday souvenirs. The exhibition also allows visitors to enjoy some of the many delights of a coastal resort with a wide range of activities for all the family based on ‘end of the pier’ entertainments.

Emma-Kate Lanyon, Curator of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, said:

“These slides were the holiday snaps of the time. They give us a rare glimpse into the lives of holiday-makers some 100 years ago.”

Among the highlights are: a replica bathing machine built at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm; a selection of railway posters evoking the time when packed trains left Shrewsbury heading for the Welsh coast; a rock pool and beach: Punch and Judy; a display of period bathing costumes, and much more.

The story of the British seaside is explored from the heyday of the Victorian and Edwardian eras to the period of post-war decline as car ownership grew and many people took to the air, bound for the reliable sunshine of Spanish Costas.

Stuart West, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member culture and leisure, said:

“This exhibition is a great opportunity to showcase our wonderful collection of Edwardian photos of coastal resorts and people enjoying the sea during its golden age. The story of the British seaside is a fascinating one that we can tell with some wonderful exhibits. I look forward to seeing it.”

Admission prices to all galleries including special exhibitions are: adult £4.50, child (5-17) £2, student £3.60, person of state pension age £4, family (1 adult + 3 children) £7, family (2 adults + 3 children) £10.

Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm, with last admission at 3pm.

For more information visit the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery website or call 01743 25888