Market in Bury St Edmunds to host pop up museum next month

A community project which will bring generations together, is calling for people to share their old photos and memorabilia of Bury St Edmunds market for a pop up museum next month.

The Markets Matter Project involves nine schools, the Gatehouse Dementia Hub, a care home and two sheltered housing schemes, aims to highlight the social value of markets and showcase community spirit, in part by linking back to the past when street parties were more common-place.

The project, led by community arts teacher Louise Gridley in partnership with St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s markets and museums services, will see students from St Benedict’s Catholic School organise a Mad Hatter’s tea party where they will serve free cake and tea to local elderly residents and interview them to record local history.

Miss Gridley who also teaches at St Benedict’s said: “It is fantastic. So many of the students are involved in this in some way or another. We have arts students busy making market themed table cloths and other props while in home economics, students will be making cakes to serve.

“Music students will provide entertainment at the tea party, while our history students are being supported by the Records Office in researching and contributing to the pop-up museum. We are all really looking forward to it.”

Students from Barrow Primary, Guildhall Feoffment, Bottesdale Primary, Priory Special School, County Upper, Stanton Primary, St Edmunds Catholic Primary and Abbots Green Primary schools have all been involved in hat making workshops in preparation for the event. Gatehouse Dementia Hub, Stradbrooke Court Sheltered Housing, Cross Penny Court Sheltered Housing and Cornwallis Court Care Home are also making hats for the community event.

Those will be worn at the tea party at the market on Wednesday, May 16, between noon and 1.30pm. The pop-up museum will take place both on the market and in Moyse’s Hall Museum which will offer free entry for the day.

Then on Saturday, May 26, there will be a free hat making workshop on the market between 10am and 1.30pm, followed by a parade to the Abbey Gardens where they will be a community picnic and free entertainment.

Robert Everitt, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “The aim of all of this is to create greater ties between the generations of people that we have in our community and for people to understand that the market is more than just a place to come and shop.

“These events are being organised to coincide with the national Love Your Local Market fortnight in mid May. Last year’s collaboration with St Benedict’s Catholic School and Louise saw Bury St Edmunds win a national award, but in terms of what it will potentially achieve, I think this year’s event is possibly even better.”

As well as the tea party, picnic and pop-up museum, St Edmundsbury is also offering young people the chance to run arts and crafts stalls on the market on May 16, for free.

Anybody who has items that the wish to loan to the pop-up museum, or who wants to take up the free stall offer, should contact Sharon.fairwweather@westsuffolk.gov.uk

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