This modestly-sized local museum belies the treasures housed inside. Downstairs there is a permanent exhibition telling the story of Kingston through the ages. Start at the very beginning and you'll encounter an impressive array of Roman and Saxon artefacts. Move closer to modern times and there is an abundance of fascinating and diverse items. I enjoyed being transported to the early 20th century, as I gazed at the very chic uniform belonging to the Thames Watermen, who were 'licensed to row' and ran a similar service - across the river - to today's road-based taxis.
I was curious to discover early laundry equipment and to find-out about the ladies of the tub, as the local washer-women became known when they went on strike in 1827. Here, I also spied an adorable model of famous little Nipper- the HMV dog - who was a Kingston resident.
As you climb the stairs, there are some beautiful paintings belonging to the Brill Collection, owned by the Council, portraying appealing local settings and buildings. Then onto the temporary exhibition
Until May 31st, it's a must-see, especially for children and anyone wanting to return to their childhood. Entitled There's Magic in the Nursery! there are stunning 19th century illustrations by Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway. A perfect opportunity to recollect and reminisce with all your favourite nursery rhymes and to enjoy them with a new generation. Lots of free workshops, drawing and storytelling events accompany the exhibition - ensure you book in advance, as they're proving very popular. Adult entry to the museum is £1.
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