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Croydon Guardian - 2005
London, England - UK

Museum in need of something borrowed

By Kerry McQueeney

Before it closed for refurbishment last December, the award-winning Lifetimes exhibition at Croydon Clocktower told the story of the borough through the voices and objects of its residents.

Museum organisers are currently in the process of finding new objects and subjects to feature in the refurbished exhibition and are calling on Heritage readers to help.

They are especially interested in hearing from anyone who has an old Victorian wedding dress with connections to Croydon who would be willing to loan the dress to the exhibition.

Victoria Cook, from Croydon Museum Service, said: "We're doing well with sourcing stories and exhibits for the new museum but we're a bit stuck in certain areas.

"In particular, we need to find a Victorian dress that someone wouldn't mind loaning us. This might be something someone has stored away in a trunk in the attic. It might have belonged to their grandmother or great-grandmother.

"The dress would need to have a connection with Croydon because we would like to feature the story behind the item."

In addition to the wedding dress, the museum service also wants to hear from people who worked in the Whitgift Centre when it first opened in 1970 and from someone who worked on the trams in Croydon between 2000 and 2003.

When the new Lifetimes exhibition reopens, organisers are planning on displaying a Tramlink sign and would like a personal account to go with it.

Lifetimes closed on Christmas Eve last year coinciding with the exhibition's 10th anniversary for a 1million refurbishment.

The new Lifetimes exhibition will include bigger and better displays, a user-friendly education suite for school projects and linked access from the new museum to the local studies library and archive service.

All of the exhibits and personal accounts in the museum have come straight from the people who know Croydon best - its residents.

Many of the exhibits are interactive, meaning visitors looking at a particular display can also listen, through speakers, to anecdotes connected with the piece.

l If you can help with providing a Victorian wedding dress or stories about the Whitgift Centre and the trams, call Victoria Cook at Croydon Museum Service on 020 8253 1026.

Wednesday 7th September 2005

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The museum service wants to hear from anyone who has a Victorian wedding dress similar to the one here, from
Fashions In Time.

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hilary@fashionsintime.com