This weeks Object Highlight has been chosen by Nikki, our Collections and Exhibitions Officer. She has chosen one of the many beautiful black and white images form our collection.
Fore Street looking towards Town Hall 1950’s
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, which is perhaps why I love looking through our photograph collection. Spotting places that I recognise, seeing the shops that have been and gone, the highly decorated business front, cars where they are no longer allowed to be, and perhaps most importantly, I like to look at the people. I wonder who they were, what were their lives like, did they live here or were they just passing through? Questions that are likely never going to be answered, but are fun to think of anyway. I also like stumbling across a mystery picture and trying to work out where it was taken and when – clothes and cars are a great help for that!
I chose this photograph over any of the over 6000 odd in our collection because it’s Christmas, Fore street is decorated with real trees, lights and garlands. You can almost feel the excitement (and stress) of Christmas shopping in the air. The street is busy, men, woman and children all wrapped up, protecting themselves from the wind tunnel, that the street still creates. The butcher can be seen hurrying back to his shop, which has a crowd growing around it. And when you look closely you can see a family stood on the steps of the Gaumont, looking at the cinema programme. Perhaps another reason I love this photo is the ‘Hoppity Goes to Town’ advert on the front of the Gaumont. I have fond, vivid memories of watching that film over and over with my grandparents. As much as we sometimes resent nostalgia in a museum setting, there’s no denying it can be very powerful emotion!