Family entertainment enjoyed by all...

on Thursday, 04 March 2010. Posted in Traditions and Folklore

Victorian style!

Hundreds of visitors of all ages enjoyed a great day of family entertainment at our Victorian Day just over a week ago.

Dr Cuttlebung and his brother Decimus were on hand to deal with any medical emergencies – however as Victorian medicines contained cocaine, strychnine and lead its lucky no-one required first aid. The cure could well have killed them!



Dr Cuttlebung and Madame Lee

Madame Lee the fortune teller amazed us all with her accurate predictions of flying machines and horseless carriages. Younger visitors were astonished by her powers, as she predicted that they would have to tidy up their messy rooms when they got home.

The barrel organ provided a wonderful accompaniment to the outside entertainments and many visitors enjoyed turning the handle.


Barrel organ - the pet monkey is also a must!

Indoors we were entertained by local musicians who produced a drawing room entertainment based on the diary of local man Audley Money-Kyrle. Victorian favourites ‘Life on the Ocean Waves’, ‘Come into the Garden Maud’ and ‘Home Sweet Home’ were enjoyed by the crowds. The original journal of Money-Kyrle’s journey to India was just one of the many fascinating documents on view from the archives.

he drawing room entertainment

altChildren designing their own 'curiosities' in one of our conservation labs

Children made cup and ball or hoopla games with the Wiltshire Scrapstore and created their own marbled paper with the Archive conservators. Inspired by the bizarre and gruesome objects lent by Wiltshire Museums for our cabinet of curiosities, children drew their own ideas for inclusion in such a cabinet. We have some of them on display in our foyer – our favourites include the finger in a jar of jam, volcanic snail bike and sabre tooth tree.

 Our intrepid Victorian archaeologist

Our intrepid Victorian archaeologist 

Here are some comments from visitors:

“Excellent day – nice balance of information and hands-on activities for younger visitors. Staff couldn’t have been more helpful and informative. I will certainly be spending more time here!”  

“My 8 year old enjoyed talking with the staff/volunteers about Victorian Times. He really enjoyed the ‘hands on’ activities” 

“It was a great day. The parlour scene really brought the journals to life.”

“Please have more frequent open days”

Our quizzes were a great success - how well would you have done on the day? 

Over the next few weeks staff will be reflecting on the successes of this year’s event and talking about ways to improve it for next year. 


If you have a comment about this year’s event or any suggestions for a period of history, theme or activity you would like to see at next year’s event, why not send us a comment.

If you have enjoyed this article, the following entries may also be of interest:

Victorian School Life: Some things never change!

So, Just what Do our visitors come to see?

Why Wiltshire's towns, villages and schools are looking back to look forward to the Queen's Jubilee


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