‘Echoes of the Past’, 2019 was commissioned by Emma Ayling, Director of the Priest’s House Museum and Gardens (PHM), to produce two commemorative events: one for the closing of the museum in June 2019 (Echoes of the Past), and one for the opening celebrations in 2020.
‘The Revival Project marks the next phase of the history of this Grade II* listed building, which has been standing in Wimborne for over 500 years, and ties in with the vision of the Museum’s founder Hilda Coles ‘…A ‘live’ museum – a centre of education and culture, continually changing its displays and appealing to children as well as adults’.
“Our Revival Project will transform the access and facilities of the museum, provide some fantastic opportunities for volunteers in the coming months, and ensure the area’s heritage is shared more widely than ever before.”
The Revival Project is being made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with partnership funding from charitable Trusts and Foundations, local councils and businesses and the community. Emma Ayling
For more information about Revival:
2020: WCT is beginning research and development of a second theatre event to commemorate the opening of the museum in 2020.
The day arrives of the autumn fair,
And torrents fall,
Though sheep in throngs are gathered there,
Ten thousand all,
Sodden, with hurdles round them reared:
And, lot by lot, the pens are cleared,
And the auctioneer wrings out his beard,
And wipes his book, bedrenched and smeared,
And takes the rain from his face with the edge of his hand,
As torrents fall.
The wool of the ewes is like a sponge
With the daylong rain:
Jammed tight, to turn, or lie, or lunge,
They strive in vain.
Their horns are soft as finger-nails,
Their shepherds reek against the rails,
The tied dogs soak with tucked-in tails,
The buyers’ hat-brims fill like pails,
Which spill small cascades when they shift their stand
In the daylong rain.
Time has trailed lengthily since met
At Pummery Fair
Those panting thousands in their wet
And woolly wear:
And every flock long since has bled,
And all the dripping buyers have sped,
And the hoarse auctioneer is dead,
Who ‘Going – going!’ so often said,
As he consigned to doom each meek, mewed band
At Pummery Fair.
Millstream actors recording with Adrian Newton
Millstream Theatre, based at Priest’s House Museum, will take part in the 2020 Revival theatre project commemorating the opening of the refurbished museum.
Millstream performed in ‘Echoes of the Past’ in a scene staged in the Victorian Kitchen featuring a mysterious encounter between two people who worked in the building while it was still a residence – Hannah Bartlett, servant to the Low Family in the 19th century, and Ralph Lowles, shop assistant at the Ironmongery run by the Coles family for much of the 20th century.
Millstream meet regularly at PHM, and the group is facilitated by Tam Gilbert, of Persuasion Arts, and Tony Horitz, State of Play Arts.
John Low in front of the Priest’s House Museum, drawn by student from St Michael’s School (Photo credit: Alastair Nisbet)
A Wimborne Stationers shop, boarded up for 30 years, has been brought to life in animated form by a group of students at St Michael’s Middle School, Wimborne, as part of Wimborne Community Theatre’s Echoes of the Past project commissioned by the Priest’s House Museum.
Pupils made both screen-based and Victorian zoetrope animations to tell the story of John Low’s shop and how it went on to become an award-winning museum.
Working with artists Nic Rawling, Alastair Nisbet and Hannah Small, the 12 and 13 year old students recreated the story of John Low whose boarded-up shop became a time capsule – and its contents a nationally important collection.
They drew and voiced the main characters, John Low and museum founder Hilda Coles, brought the museum’s mummified cat to life and animated a Victorian lady writing “to my love” on an 1860s Valentine.
Alastair Nisbet, animator and producer from arts organisation ScreenPLAY
Nic who performs internationally with the Paper Cinema makes a unique type of live animation so as well as drawing and voicing the characters in traditional film sequences, the group have worked with him to make four Victorian style zoetrope animations.
The zoetropes and films will form an installation for the promenade theatre event Echoes of the Past which takes place in June.
Read more about the project.
Ron Jenkinson, Headteacher at St Michael’s said the artists’ mini residency had given students a taste of life in the creative industries.
They have drawn, storyboarded, voice recorded, filmed and above all worked together as a team to make some beautiful work for a real world project and that’s been a great experience for them.
Sound artist, Adrian Newton, worked with WCT recording banging doors, squeaking floorboards, pacing footsteps and generally improvising sounds and voices around the Priest’s House Museum. From this, Adrian will create a soundscape to form one of the elements of the theatrical collage ‘Echoes of the Past’ to be performed on June 5th – 7th at the museum.
Adrian has worked with WCT on many site-specific productions and helped us experiment with and develop our use of sound considerably. Read more about Adrian’s work with WCT.
See photos of the session here…