The Manx Museum in Douglas is set to inspire nostalgic recollections of the Island’s seaside holiday boom thanks to kind support of Lloyds Bank. The newly displayed Exploratorium gallery, which opened last Saturday, features items and themes associated with entertainment and amusement during the peak tourism period of the early 20th century.
Included in the items on display are tourism promotion posters and leaflets, costumes, games, a Punch and Judy puppet theatre, as well as photographic representation of the Palace Ballroom complete with disco glitter ball as a nod to the Palace Lido.
The display also includes a seaside tent while interactive activities include deciding which saucy seaside postcards to censor, a dressing up box of holiday attires from the era, and a selection of puppets to put on your own show. Visitors are also encouraged to ‘tickle the ivories’ on the piano and put on their own entertainment.
Lucy Felton, Business Development Manager for Lloyds Bank said:
“Lloyds Bank is delighted to continue to support Manx National Heritage in 2016. The Exploratorium is a brilliant venue where all ages can learn, play and reminisce in a fun environment. As one of the leading Banks in the local community, Lloyds Bank is committed to helping to raise the profile of the importance of enjoying and preserving our Island’s heritage.”
The idea behind the gallery is to create a changing interactive space for all ages featuring items and exhibits linked to the adjacent gallery. In this instance the Exploratorium activities are themed around ‘On the Market Place’ by John Miller Nicholson and ‘On the Beach’ by William Hardie Hay and the Exploratorium seeks to bring the paintings to life for visitors. Nicholson’s work included scenes celebrating the Manx tourist heyday and in particular the entertainment on offer to the holiday maker.
Katie King, Community Outreach and Learning Support Officer with Manx National Heritage, who has developed the display, commented:
“The Exploratorium concept was created to extend and bring to life a central theme within the art gallery displays. It also shows that it’s possible to have fun in a museum as well as presenting an opportunity to learn through play which is a strong education tool. We want to engage people of all ages, particularly children and help them develop an enthusiasm for and understanding of a period in the Island’s recent history. We also hope that the display will bring back happy memories for an older generation.”
A family day hosted by Lloyds Bank will be hosted in the gallery on Saturday 28 May 2016 with Seaside themed goodies for visitors to enjoy in the gallery.