National Butterfly Museum postcard

National Butterfly Museum

This postcard dates from 1981. St. Mary’s is a late 15th-century house with extensive gardens, which has been owned by various notable people including the Hon. Algernon Bourke, one-time owner of White’s gentleman’s club in St. James’s, London. Bourke and his wife are said to be the inspiration for characters in Oscar Wilde’s play, The […]

Torbay Aircraft Museum

What is the connection between the 1960s pop music TV show Ready, Steady, Go! and a long-lost aircraft museum in Devon? The answer is Keith Fordyce, an ex-RAF serviceman who co-presented the show from 1963, and famously asked the Beatles if they thought they had a future. In 1971 he began restoring old aircraft, and later established […]

Defining Museums

Since 1960, which is the starting point for the Mapping Museums research, UK museum professionals have used five different definitions of museums. It was surprisingly difficult to track down this information so in this post I provide a list of past museum definitions and a brief commentary about their relevance to the Mapping Museums research. […]

Bear Gardens Museum

Bear Gardens Museum

According to Hudson and Nicholls’ Directory of Museums and Living Displays, the Bear Gardens Museum was in a Georgian warehouse standing on the original site of the Elizabethan bear baiting arena and the Hope Playhouse. Its displays illustrated the history of 16th and 17th-century playhouses, and included scale models. As Bankside was on the south […]

Sandwich Doll Museum

Sandwich Doll Museum

As Fiona Candlin writes elsewhere on this site, one problem when researching small museums is that there may be very little information available about them. These two postcards are almost all we have of The Precinct Toy Collection, also known as The Sandwich Doll Museum. We can see that it contained Doll’s Houses, and another […]

Send and Ripley Museum

Send and Ripley Museum

Museums may move in different ways. Sometimes collections are transferred to different sites, and occasionally get renamed in the process. Others are completely itinerant, such as the Museum of Water. But the premises of Send and Ripley Museum had to move even before it could be used as a museum. This building was formerly a […]

Telecom Technology Showcase

Telecom Technology Showcase

The Telecom Technology Showcase was open between 1982 and 1997 and run by British Telecom. It occupied premises in Baynard House, Blackfriars, which is still owned by BT. The museum’s opening was specially timed: 1982 was Information Technology Year in the UK. BT had been created just two years earlier and separated from the Post Office […]