I headed out last Friday afternoon, not only in an attempt to avoid working on a university submission, though mainly to visit The Story Museum, Pembroke Street, Oxford. Explain? Well post flyer perusal, I’d considered this to be a jolly good option for an afternoon’s entertainment, though I’ll be honest with you I wasn’t prepared to be really impressed.
I definitely wasn’t prepared. I was balled over. It was an absolute hoot. An eclectic smorgasbord of brain fun.
Older Worlds – running from May 1 – 27 (so you better be quick), introduced me to a new way of thinking and experiencing. The installations (hoping that’s the right word) are housed over three floors and utilise the space, which at times is quite dilapidated, exceptionally well.
I shan’t tell you all, for that will just spoil the fun (so note some rooms aren’t mentioned), though I feel it would be polite to furnish you with the dégustateur de menu.
Following this route then:
Room 10 – Windows to the Story World – thanks go to a number of Year 7 students at the Dragon School for this one. It was amusing to see a clear pattern develop between young ladies’ tastes and young gentlemen’s idea of a great tale.
Room 13 – Is my secret safe? – a quandary. Do you select a key and open the appropriate box to find out what’s concealed inside. Or do you maintain the integrity of what is hidden?
Room 16 – The invisible women – get to grips with the Mother of Adam Smith’s side of the story…produced on tea towels
Room 21 – The Queen of Found Objects Secret Store Room – a bursting button… its perspective
Room 28 – The Word Storm – arm yourself with a torch and head in to be surrounded by words, and spot jewels cascading through the ceiling
Room 31 – The Many Faces of the Story Museum :The Eye Surgeons – fantastic photographs, offered up for your viewing (and purchasing) pleasure. Look out for PAPPED.
Room 32 – A Crafty Fag – go check up on Bob Hutchins
Room 33 – The National Audio Sneeze Laboratory – who would have thought
Room 35 – The Time Traveller’s Bureau – write a letter to yourself and it will be delivered to you, a year from now
Room 38 – The English Society of Lost Things – what a fantastic discovery.
In a final effort to establish the whereabouts of my son’s school jumper, I entered this particular space and was met by a super, efficient Eileen (the Manageress), whom was immediately on the case. She made a quick call to Rupert (obviously another super competent employee), in an attempt to track down the recalcitrant item of clothing. Her confidence in its recovery was contagious. I’ve been re-assured, it will be located and make its way back home.
A synopsis then? It’s quirky, it’s kooky, it’s fabulous fun. And as it’s due to finish this Sunday, I’d recommend you either reshuffle your commitments for this weekend, or alternatively stray from the confines of your work place for a couple of hours this Thursday or Friday and experience and see things a little differently.