Port Sunlight celebrates 125th anniversay with special exhibition

Port Sunlight.

Port Sunlight.

First published in News

A SPECIAL exhibition has been created in Port Sunlight to explore the life of the village through the eyes of residents as they celebrate 125 years since it was created.

Residents have worked with many of the village’s groups and societies to curate the exhibition at Port Sunlight Museum, which will form part of a year-long project.

The exhibition, “Port Sunlight: 125 Years of the Social Suburb” will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the start of the building of the village and its very first tenants.

It has been funded by the Arts Council’s Museum Development Fund and Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Village (Port Sunlight Village Trust).

Katherine Lynch, heritage manager for Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Village, said: “It’s been a wonderful process so far.

“The staff and volunteers at the museum have worked with the residents on all aspects of the exhibition and the wider project.

“Together we have come up with the project themes and activities, conducted historical research into the village and individual houses, designed the project logo, come up with the exhibition title, identified objects and photographs for display, undertaken oral history recordings, and yarn-bombed the trees outside Port Sunlight Museum.”

To date 40 individual residents have been involved with the exhibition and project and some 25 village groups and societies – representing art, music, cycling, bowling, photography and knitting – have also taken part.

Sue Barton, chair of the Friends of Port Sunlight Village, added: “It has been really special seeing lots of different residents taking part in discovering the history of the village and their properties.

“There has been a definite joining together to find relevant information for the exhibition, which is also crucial in promoting a sense of community.”

The exhibition takes a fresh look at the history of the village, exploring the key social, economic and political factors - locally and nationally - that affected William Lever’s founding vision for the employees of his Soap Works – that they should live and work together in above average conditions – and their impact on the village community.

It also challenges common misconceptions about what it means and has meant to live in Port Sunlight over the last 125 years.

The exhibition was opened on May 11 and will run until March 31, 2015.
Other project activities include guided walking tours on the village’s domestic architecture which residents will deliver in August.

An Open Village event in September will see residents open their doors to the public for the first time, affording the rare opportunity to see inside the houses and back gardens of Port Sunlight!

For more information on the project and how to get involved visit: portsunlightvillage.com

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