Real people from Victorian Bury St Edmunds including killer George Harrold and Walter Sneezum who founded Sneezum’s shop, have helped museum visitors learn about the past.
Moyse’s Hall museum has been running a new ‘pot luck career’ concept during the Easter school holidays in which visitors pick from one of 20 individuals and learn more about their life.
Alex McWhirter, heritage assistant at the museum said: “We have run it over the school Easter holidays. It has been very popular.
“This is the first time that we have used this concept and we hope to now create it for other periods of time.”
Among the real life individuals was George Harrold who lived in St Andrews Street and was convicted of manslaughter, Walter Sneezum who founded the Sneezum’s shop. a woman from the Thingoe House workhouse, Edward Walter Greene from the Greene King family, Thomas Parkington, the father of Frederick Gershom Parkington who left the clock collection to the town, William Clarke, a police sergeant who would have worked in the museum building when it served at the police station, and Horrace Barker, the first currator of Moyse’s Hall.
On Wednesday there was a raft of activities including making Victorian pencil toppers with Queen Victoria’s head on them.
Visitors have also been learning about Victorian wash days, how to make coconut ices, and the different types of Victorian sweets.
“It has created a wonderful opportunity to draw people in and give them an insight into real town’s folk of the 1800s. It has also created a school resource for when pupils are learning about history,” Mr McWhirter said.
It has been so successful that more will be held, starting with medieval Bury on July 13/14 followed by World War Two Bury on August 30/ September 1.
A World War One version of the idea will be held next year.