Journey through the magical world of children’s classics this Summer

Moyse’s Hall Museum are bringing a ‘Summer of Stories’ to life from an exhibition of unique Alice in Wonderland illustrations to a special Bury St Edmunds story trail.

This new summer programme from Moyse’s Hall Museum has been inspired by their current exhibition ‘Looking in Wonderland’ running until Sunday 1 September. This unique exhibition features John Tenniel’s beautiful and intricate drawings originating from the first ever editions of Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1872) by Lewis Carroll. These books have inspired numerous film, television and theatrical adaptations, with Tenniel’s drawings becoming some of the most famous literary illustrations of all time. 

Visitors can also step inside the pages of other children’s classics, with the chance to see a fascinating array of objects from the Heritage collections, all themed to bring to life the beloved tales of authors such as Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter.

But the magic doesn’t stop there because, during these summer holidays,  Moyse’s Hall have taken to the streets and shops of Bury St Edmunds to create a treasure trail of literature that will take families around six local shops (Mr Simms Sweet Shop, Waterstones, Buy The Light, Starlings Toymaster, Sneezums and The Furniture Market) where they can complete a special stories treasure trail to be in with a chance of winning a selection of prizes.

Each shop will celebrate a different children’s classic from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to local author Ann-Marie Howell’s Ickworth based novel The Garden of Lost Secrets which spins an intriguing wartime tale of mystery and secrets in a beautiful local setting. 

And with six long weeks of summer holidays ahead of us Moyse’s hall have a selection of workshops and tours to keep everyone busy. Wednesdays throughout August will host specialist craft and story workshops, including a special under 5s event, to keep little people and their big imaginations busy and creative. To keep up to date with each of the events you can head over to the Moyse’s Hall Facebook page. 

The guides at Moyse’s Hall will also be offering their special ‘Terrible Tours’ which can be booked each Tuesday and Thursday for groups as small as 2 up to 30. This 45-minute tour will take you on a journey through history and reveal all the grotty stories and terrible tales to be found in the collection. Standard admission applies and must be booked in advance.

Cllr Joanna Rayner, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: “These stories, whether by Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter or Roald Dahl are almost timeless in their appeal. They are stories that have been enjoyed by generations, and that have encouraged children to go off, read and let their imagination run riot. With audiences already flocking to see the new Wonderland exhibition, literature lovers from 2 to 102 will find something magical to explore this summer in Bury St Edmunds.”

Standard admission to Moyse’s Hall applies: £5 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family ticket. If you want to experience the brilliant offers all year round you can purchase a Heritage Ticket for just £12 for adults, £6 for children and £40 for a family.