'It's a good time capsule' - Telephone exchange to open up for first time in 50 years
- Credit: The Art Station/Emily Richardson
Visitors to a Suffolk town will be able to view a piece of communication history when it opens up for the first time in 50 years.
Saxmundham's former telephone exchange will be open later this month for guests to take a step back in time.
The building's current occupants, The Art Station, have partnered with Saxmundham Museum and BT to celebrate its unique history.
Built in the 1950s, the building was designed by Thomas Winterburn, one of the ten post office architects associated with the Festival of Britain movement.
The site remained in operation as a telephone exchange and post office for many years and employed up to 50 people at the height of it's operation.
You may also want to watch:
It closed for good in the 1970s.
The Art Station now uses part of the building for local creatives bringing in art studios, hot desking space and exhibition areas.
- 1 Explained: What is causing the long queues at petrol stations?
- 2 Suffolk petrol stations avoid closure as garages shut nationwide
- 3 Don't panic buy - warning as queues form at petrol stations
- 4 Family of hairdresser, 17, who died in her sleep 'overwhelmed' by tributes
- 5 Road off A14 closed after serious collision
- 6 'We've lost one or two from last week' - Cook reveals fresh injury set-back
- 7 Petrol queues worsen rush-hour traffic
- 8 Cook believes Ipswich are 'biggest and best' club in League One
- 9 Suffolk man arrested after motorcyclist killed in crash
- 10 Dramatic pictures as huge barn fire breaks out near coast
Later this month, the original exchange rooms and equipment used by staff will be opened up to the public for the first time alongside contextual archival materials and artefacts.
Digital artist Henry Driver will be exhibiting works in the exchange as well as creating a new piece in response to the unique space and the developing technology of communication.
An oral history project, conducted by local historian Belinda Moore, will also tell the stories of the people who worked in the building.
Verity Slade, from The Art Station, said the space was unlike any other.
"I have never seen anything like it," she said.
"It's a really interesting bit of equipment and there are lots of artefacts left in the space."
Miss Slade that the room had been incredibly well preserved.
"It seems a bit post-apocalyptic; there's still folders in desk drawers," she said.
"It's a good time capsule."
The building's opening coincides with the Heritage Open Days event 2021, which sees heritage buildings across the county open their doors to the public.
The telephone exchange will be open from 12-4pm on Saturday, September 18 and 25.