Friday night saw several intrepid Pewsham Belles at the Cabinet of Curiosity and Gin event. This was a new venture for Chippenham Museum, as part of the Museums at Night initiative. We were encouraged to dress up, so we simply had to oblige, for the whole evening or for our Victorian photo booth experience!
It turned out the museum has many cabinets of curiosity, with the current exhibition The Obscure Eye Presents... forming the inspiration for the evening's activities. This in turn was inspired by a real event in 1896 when a flea circus visited the town, and this plus the themes of Victorian circus and quirky, macabre objects were on show.
This theme was extended further on the night with all kinds of surprises, as Fiona P said on Facebook:
"Some Pewsham Belles, a few friends and even a WI husband (!)* had a fabulous evening at Chippenham Museum. A re-creation of a travelling sideshow, complete with palm reader, fire dancer, explorers and a flea circus. Well done to all involved from the museum and Rag & Bone Arts."
Diane I added:
"...and a magician. Very nice raspberry & hibiscus gin. The fire dancer was amazing and the palmist was hilarious as were the explorers. Also a pleasant drink and chat afterwards at The Angel."
* = an additional cabinet of curiosity on the night was explained by Harry, our very own WI husband (thanks Sarah W) on his first special event as a volunteer!