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Shrewsbury Museum begins search for people and places in Edwardian seaside snaps

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery has launched a nationwide search to identify the people and places featured in a series of Edwardian seaside photographs that go on display later this month as part of a new exhibition.

Named after the well-known song of the same name, ‘Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside’ will be open from 20th June to 28th August 2016 in the Museum’s special exhibition gallery.

The exhibition includes a remarkable collection of early twentieth century photographs of coastal resorts and Edwardians enjoying the sea air. Unlike many portrait photographs of the period, many of these pictures are often very informal and show another, more relaxed, side of Edwardian life.

Now the search is on to identify the people in the photographs, some of the locations, and the photographers who took them.

Photos have been identified from Scarborough, Borth, Rhyl, Lowestoft, Colwyn Bay, Aberystwyth, Swansea, Bournemouth, Aberdovey, Hastings, Great Yarmouth and Dover. However, many are from unidentified locations.

Stuart West, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“These pictures were the holiday snaps of the time and they give us a rare glimpse into the lives of holiday-makers some 100 years ago. We would love to know more about the people and places that feature in these photographs – and we’re asking people for their help. If you know or recognise any of the people in the pictures, or think you know where they were taken or who took them, please let us know.”

If you can help, please email shrewsburymuseum@shropshire.gov.uk.

This superb display of images is complemented by items from Shropshire Museums’ collection including costume and contemporary holiday souvenirs. The exhibition also allows visitors to enjoy some of the many delights of a coastal resort with a wide range of activities for all the family based on ‘end of the pier’ entertainments.

Among the highlights are: a replica bathing machine built at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm; a selection of railway posters evoking the time when packed trains left Shrewsbury heading for the Welsh coast; a rock pool and beach: Punch and Judy; a display of period bathing costumes, and much more.

The story of the British seaside is explored from the heyday of the Victorian and Edwardian eras to the period of post-war decline as car ownership grew and many people took to the air, bound for the reliable sunshine of Spanish Costas.

To see and download a selection of the photographs that are included in the exhibition, click here to visit the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery Flickr site.

Admission prices to all galleries including special exhibitions are: adult £4.50, child (5-17) £2, student £3.60, person of state pension age £4, family (1 adult + 3 children) £7, family (2 adults + 3 children) £10.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm, with last admission at 3pm.

For more information visit the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery website or call 01743 258885.

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