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Posted: Jun 23, 2018

Wildflowers

'Wildflowers' is a new exhibition, which introduces four girls from Edwardian Wimborne.

Illustration of Wood Anemone © Eileen Budd

'Wildflowers' is a new exhibition at the museum, which introduces four girls from Edwardian Wimborne. Their stories are brought to life through displays, hands-on activities and Edwardian games for visitors to play in the museum garden. It has been produced in partnership with Dorset History Centre and Kingston Lacy as part of the Unlocking the Bankes Archive project. The exhibition runs from 28 June to the end of November 2018.

The exhibition picks up common themes of home and family, hobbies, and the unavoidable experience of illness and death. Though their lives are very different, these girls are united by their gender and generation.

Elsie Stanton, like most girls in Edwardian Wimborne, went to the local school and then worked in domestic service. Barbara Baker was the middle class daughter of the rector of Witchampton. Lizzie Bailey lived in Wimborne before being sent to St Faith's Home in Parkstone.

Finally Viola Bankes was the middle daughter of Walter and Henrietta Bankes of Kingston Lacy. Her brother Ralph was the final owner of the extensive estates, and bequeathed the house and collections to the National Trust.

Visitors can see pressed flower albums and nature books made by Viola Bankes around 1910, which are now preserved in the Bankes Archive at Dorset History Centre. Loans from the National Trust include plates used in the Kingston Lacy nursery and toys owned by the Bankes children. Also on display are items from the Priest's House Museum which give insight into normal children's lives, including century-old clothing, toys and books.

Specially commissioned illustrations have been inspired by the wildflowers collected by children in Edwardian Dorset and the garden games are based on the popular activities of the time.

For further information please contact the museum.

To find out more about Unlocking the Bankes Archive project please visit the project website dcc.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/bankes-archive/.

Dorset History Centre is dedicated to preserving, sharing and celebrating the rich heritage of Dorset - www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/dorsethistorycentre.

Image: Illustration of Wood Anemone © Eileen Budd

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