‘Then and Now’ Images of Wantage shops spark memories

Memories of Wantage shops, their owners and staff, and what they sold have been sparked by a collection of photographs being displayed at Vale & Downland Museum and online.

Called ‘Then & Now: Wantage through the years – a collection of photos from past and present’, the collection features 28 old photographs showing town centre shops in years gone by, alongside a shot taken from the same perspective now, by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell.

They’re on display at Vale & Downland Museum on Church Street from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 14th October.

The project is a joint venture between Wantage Town Team and The Museum, with kind support from local historian, David Castle, and was inspired by the popular FaceBook group ‘Old Wantage’, which has more than 3,600 members. It’s hoped that more images of Wantage town centre shops past will emerge, and that they’ll be the basis of future exhibitions. Anyone with a photo of Wantage town centre buildings who would like it to be included in possible future projects could contact Mim via email: hello@lovewantage.uk or telephone 01235 766689.

Vale & Downland Museum’s Curator, Suzie Tilbury says: “The Museum is very proud to be part of this collaborative project with Wantage Town Team. The Wantage community is very passionate about the history of the town, and it’s wonderful to see the memories alongside the images – it really brings them to life.”

Wantage Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, says: “This has been a lovely project to put together. Grateful thanks go to the Old Wantage members for their contributions, and to David Castle for his support. We’ve really enjoyed reading all the memories the photos have sparked, and look forward to that continuing as the exhibition runs at Vale & Downland Museum and continues online.”

The Museum on Church Street, Wantage is open Monday-Saturday, 9.30am-4pm with more details at http://wantage-museum.com/

Wantage town team, led by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, is part of a town vitality initiative funded by the Vale of White Horse District Council, and supported by Wantage Town Council, Grove Parish Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF). For more details see www.lovewantage.uk


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