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District Dispatch - 30 January 2024

If, like me, you're beginning to look ahead to all of the events and activities that you don't want to miss in 2024, you'll be pleased to hear that our team at The Novium Museum have an exciting year in store!

Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events

The museum is about to embark on a new project to unlock the advertising archive of the former local family-run business, Shippam's. This work will culminate in an exhibition next year, but in the meantime, you'll have an exciting opportunity to be part of the journey!

The museum will be recruiting and working with local volunteers to catalogue, re-pack and digitise the Shippam's collection. This consists of over 700 items from the company's iconic advertising archive, hundreds of photographs, ephemera and objects relating to life in the factory, and archaeology recovered from an excavation of the old factory site in 2005.

Established in 1786, Shippam's was a much-loved employer in Chichester, whose success and popularity spread worldwide. The project will explore how family and community shaped one of the best loved brands of the 20th century by creating a digital version of existing paper records; record a series of oral histories and engaging with the public and community groups.

If you'd like to be part of the project, we're holding a volunteer recruitment event on 29 February from 10am until 2pm at The Novium Museum in Tower Street, Chichester. If you're interested in finding out more about the project and volunteering opportunities, book a free place at the event through The Novium Museum's website (opens new window). For more information, please email thenovium@chichester.gov.uk or call 01243 775888.

Looking ahead to February half term, The Novium Museum will be hosting a week of toy-inspired activities! Visit the museum throughout the week to take on a Toy Detective Trail — an interactive toy tour that will take you on a journey around the museum. Collect all the clues to receive a 'brick model' reward (while stocks last). Tickets cost £3 per trail. Drop in and collect at the front desk on arrival.

On 15 February, there's a Traditional Toy Making Workshop (£7 per child), where you can create a kaleidoscope, a whirling spinning top and decorate a wooden yo-yo. You can also become a Junior Jedi on 17 February (£8 per child) — make a lightsabre, Yoda bookmark and themed headband in this Star Wars themed craft session! Please book in advance for these sessions on The Novium Museum website (opens new window).

Have you visited the museum's 'May The Toys Be With You' exhibition yet? The exhibition, which is open until 20 April, showcases one of the UK's finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters.

A celebration of the highly collectable vintage toy line and of the iconic design work and art of the original Star Wars movies, the exhibition features hundreds of incredible vintage toys, posters and memorabilia, including a 1977 movie poster by The Brothers Hildebrant, a 1978 Death Star model and the first 12 Star Wars figures from 1978, as well as archival footage of movie trailers and a soundscape using soundtracks from the Star Wars films, including music from London Symphony Orchestra. 

Visitors can also look forward to some interactive gallery features; dress up as your favourite Star Wars character, pose for a selfie with a Storm Trooper, and explore other toys from the 1970's with a look through a vintage toy box!

Tickets for the exhibition cost £4 for adults, £2.50 for children and £12 for a family of up to 5. For more information and to book, please visit the 'May The Toys Be With You' exhibition page (opens new window).

There's so much to do across the district so make sure that you don't miss out by keeping up-to-date on all the events and activities that are planned by visiting our online Chichester District What's On calendar.

Best Wishes

Cllr Jess Brown-Fuller

Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council