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Bury St Edmunds’ pageants are the focus of a new Moyse’s Hall exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 May 2015

A new exhibition about pageants is now on show at Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds.

Heritage officer Alex McWhirter with a pageant medal based on a coin from the reign of Edward the Confessor.

A new exhibition about pageants is now on show at Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. Heritage officer Alex McWhirter with a pageant medal based on a coin from the reign of Edward the Confessor.

Sarah Lucy brown

A new exhibition has been launched in Bury St Edmunds which will give people an insight into three historical pageants that took place in the town.

The pageants in the Abbey Gardens in 1907, 1959 and 1970 involved thousands of cast members, and tens of thousands of people came to watch. The first two told the story of the Magna Carta – which has its origins in Bury – and the last one focused on King Edmund.

The free exhibition, which is now on display at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury, has been produced in association with The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905-2016, which is a research project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The display, which has been curated by Dr Tom Hulme, a research associate at King’s College London, includes film footage of the pageants and items such as commemorative china and programmes.

Dr Hulme said members of the public had also been in contact with information and images: “We have had people sending us things to our email account which will actually then go online to accompany the physical exhibition. People have been sending in their photographs and newspaper clippings they have been collecting, and memories of going to the events.”

Alex McWhirter, a heritage officer at Moyse’s Hall, added: “The 1907 pageant reads like a who’s who, all-star list of Bury St Edmunds. It has got Horace Barker, who was curator here, mayor Owen Aly Clark and we have also got George Gery Milner-Gibson Cullum, who gave us all our fine art and lived at Hardwick Hall. And amongst them we have got the Ridleys.”

Bury St Edmunds Magna Carta 800 has also supported the project.

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