The Wilson, Cheltenham

New name, new galleries

I’m a long term visitor to Cheltenham and its museum so was keen to see its make over as The Wilson.

Well, walking into the tourist information centre at the entrance was a bit confusing. Happily a friendly member of staff gave me a very clear overview of all the galleries and I set off to explore.

looking out from the top floor at The Wilson

The new

The new galleries are very new with exposed concrete modernist overtones. Not sure how this will appear over time but a strong coherent look throughout the new galleries.

The display area in each gallery makes good use of the space with a separate section on the top gallery being a good touch. In the current exhibition it’s used for showing a video.

The old

I loved the walk through the furniture store to the local history galleries. A great behind the scenes feel to it. Seeing the prehistory section again was a bit of a trip down memory lane.

I still find the Nottingham Hill Bronze Age hoard fascinating. Seeing it displayed as a whole adds to the impact of it as a group of objects. I like the illustration showing how golden the objects were when deposited. I think a lot of visitors don’t realise how bling these objects were when made and used from just reading a description.

The people

All the staff I met and spoke to were really pleasant and enthusiastic. I was impressed by the common sense approach taken by the staff and signage for the sexual element in the Embrace exhibition. Calm and clear is always good in my book.

Favourite object?

If I had to pick one it’s the zinc chimney sweep. A life size figure of a sweep from outside Fields Sweeps premises.

By Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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