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Plaster Panel, Gaumont Cinema, 1936

27th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

These plaster panels are a rare survivor of the once glamourous Art Deco Cinema that stood on the corner of Timber Street and Gladstone Road, Chippenham. Its construction began in March 1936, and 8 months later the Gaumont Cinema opened to the public on 14th November. The building’s exterior was a 1930’s take on Georgian …

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Studio Interior with Nude, William Brooker, 1953

26th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

William ‘Bill’ Brooker studied at Croydon School of Art, Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College of Art. Between 1949 and 1965 he taught at a number of art schools including the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. While teaching there Brooker lived in the town, working and recruiting notable artists of the British Post …

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Trade Medals awarded to Saxby and Farmer Ltd, 1876-1924

25th May 2020 / Collections, Museum

These 24 trade medals, displayed across two velvet-lined, wooden cases, were presented to Saxby and Farmer and its successor companies during the late 19th and early 20th century. Saxby and Framer were early developers of railway signalling. They moved their manufacturing works from Kilburn, London to Chippenham in 1903. This move led to the town …

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Partying 1940s Style: Part 4 – What party music mix should I have?

7th May 2020 / Museum, Museum blog

For our final VE Day party blog we consider that tricky party question… What party music mix should I have? Putting together that ultimate party play list can be very tricky. Trying to satisfy everyone’s taste in music is almost impossible these days. This is perhaps the one time that it might have been easier …

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Partying 1940s Style: Part 3 – What should I wear?

6th May 2020 / Museum, Museum blog

Today’s VE Day party blog considers that most important of party questions …. What should I wear? I am sure that we have all at some point let out that plaintive cry “I have nothing to wear”, but with most probably a wardrobe full of clothes, we have to admit that this is not strictly …

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Partying 1940s Style: Part 2 – How can you make party food without flour?

5th May 2020 / Museum, Museum blog

For the second of our VE Day party blogs (answering those really important party questions) we consider how you make party food without flour? The current shortages of a few items in our shops has come as a bit of a shock to us all. We are not accustomed to being rationed to one pack …

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Partying 1940s Style: Celebrate VE Day in lockdown

4th May 2020 / Museum, Museum blog

After Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces, bringing to an end the hostilities of the Second World War in Europe, Winston Churchill declared 8 May 1945 Victory in Europe Day and made it a national holiday. All across the country people took to the streets to celebrate and in Chippenham the newspaper reported… On Friday …

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Night Club Nostalgia: impact of the Goldiggers Project

7th April 2020 / Museum blog

In 1981 Goldiggers night club opened in the former Gaumont Cinema building in Timber Street. It became the premier night club for the region and an important venue in the music scene of the 80s and 90s. However, while the general history of the club was well known, the part it played in the lives …

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Happy Birthday to us! 20 years of Chippenham Museum

23rd March 2020 / Museum, Museum blog

“It started with a bang, but no one thought it would last. Chippenham just doesn’t want a museum, they said. Public interest, it was forecast, would fade and die. But a small group of volunteers, who organize the museum project in the ancient Yelde Hall, Chippenham have proved them all wrong” The Chronicle – May 1964 …

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Guest Blog: Student reflects on placement

12th August 2019 / Museum, Museum blog

For the past few months the Chippenham Museum team have been joined by Bath Spa University student Rachel Dacey for her placement. Studying for a Master’s degree in Heritage Management, Rachel has researched, planned and installed a social history exhibit focused on the influence that Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. had on the everyday lives …

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