Last time we focused on the football side of the ‘Museum of Two Halves’ project. As the name suggests, there are two halves to this unique project: the Football Museum for Wales, a new museum for Wrexham.
Both museums will be located inside the museum building on Regent Street.
Behind the Scenes
Much has been happening behind the scenes, with the architects working out how to make the museum building fully accessible and how to create a new visitor experience without damaging the historic features of this well-loved landmark.
Over the winter, the plans for the Wrexham galleries have developed to include more detail about the displays. There will be five distinct galleries in the Wrexham Museum half, after the immersive introduction to the story of Wrexham.
The first gallery, “Beginnings”, will focus on how archaeological remains and treasures have survived to tell us about how local life was long ago. The gallery will have the space to display Brymbo Man and his tomb, a small case highlighting some of Wrexham’s Bronze Age treasures and a larger one for archaeological finds, whether prehistoric, Roman or medieval.
The second gallery introduces visitors to the industrial history of Wrexham and the world of work of our ancestors. A large display case will highlight how the museum collection has examples of the products of yesteryear. There will be films to watch, challenges to undertake and interactives to do. All inspired by Wrexham’s origins as a market town and the many industries that grew up in the vicinity. Wrexham’s brewing traditions will be well represented in another display case.
“Conflict and Struggles”
The adjoining “Conflict & Struggle” gallery will explore the impact of industrial disasters, industrial strife and war on life in the county borough. For the first time, the museum can permanently dedicate a space to commemorate the Gresford Colliery Disaster. At the same time, the story of the munitionettes of Wrexham will reveal women’s role on the home front in times of war and afterwards. Displays exploring Wrexham’s wartime history will run alongside.
The fourth gallery will be about life in the community and the lives that make up Wrexham County Borough. The early ideas for this gallery revolve around moving on from the seriousness required in the Conflict and Struggle gallery to something more light-hearted and colourful. The displays will showcase Wrexham’s cultural and sporting traditions. It will also explore what it is like making a home in this part of Wales.
Family Fun Activities
The final gallery is about life in the home and our journeys as individuals through life’s ups and downs. The latter includes birth, childhood, school, faith, love, family, health, or rather ill health, right to the very end. The former explores how the items in our homes, kitchen, living room and also bedrooms have changed over the years. There’ll be some family fun activities at the far end of the gallery so younger visitors have some outlet for their energy.
The design of all the Wrexham Museum galleries will evolve over the next year as each section is finalized. We will also involve more people in the decisions. More immediately, the architects, Purcell, have recently submitted a planning application for all the work that will be happening at County Buildings (the home of the museum). We have told our neighbours what to expect. With plans to landscape the forecourt and create a new museum garden, the changes envisaged will make the museum, alongside the Catholic Cathedral, the landmark gateway into the city centre.
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