A walk down memory lane to celebrate Mansfield Museum

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A party of 40 Metal Box pensioners helped to mark the first anniversary of a successful permanent exhibition at Mansfield Museum celebrating the district’s industrial past.

The “Made in Mansfield” exhibition – the first exhibition in the museum’s Arcade gallery for 27 years – opened on 23 October last year after the biggest revamp at the museum in ten years.

During the year, it has contributed to a 13 per cent increase in visitors to the museum.

The pensioners visited a temporary exhibition featuring Metal Box artwork at the Gallery, which runs until the end of October. They were also given an opportunity to have a look through the 3,000 Metal Box items that are not on current display which brought back many happy memories from their working lives.

Executive mayor of Mansfield Kate Allsop, who cut the ribbon at the exhibition’s opening ceremony last year and attended the birthday celebration, said: “This exhibition has been a great success.

“There is something for everyone at the museum and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone interested in the town’s fascinating industrial heritage.”

The project was made possible with a £304,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £3,000 from the museum’s budget, £9,200 from Mansfield Educational Foundation, and with the support of a team of dedicated volunteers.

The Arcade, which leads from the museum’s entrance to the original building, now focuses on major past and present employers and industries of the district.

It features artefacts, photographs, film and audio about Metal Box, Shoe Co, Mansfield Brewery, Barrs Soft Drinks, hosiery, precision engineering, mining, foundries and quarrying.

There are also interactive activities including an electronic beer mat flipper and a chance to design your own shoes.

Although Made in Mansfield is not specifically aimed at children, it features trails and activities similar to those that won Mansfield Museum the Guardian’s Family-friendly Museum of the Year award.