I have been putting in a weekly stint as a volunteer at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre for over a year now. While the exhibits at the Centre are nearly as permanent as the Stones themselves, there is a corner of the Gallery where the exhibition changes every six months or so.
We recently closed the ‘Soldiers at Stonehenge’ exhibition, which was displayed to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I and as a salute to the close connections the Army had, and still has, with Salisbury Plain.
On the 1st of May, it was replaced with something a little more light-hearted. Even in Victorian times, there was a nearby souvenir shop … if not at Stonehenge itself, probably in nearby Amesbury.
Many and varied were the memorabilia offered over the years. Some of it was quite good; some of it plain tacky. But, as any collector knows, even the tawdriest tat becomes collectable over the years. Just watch an episode of Antiques Road Show, or something.
Archaeologist Julian Richards is such a collector, and many items from his collection are being shown in the Wish You Were Here exhibition, which will be running until October. If you can’t make it by then, don’t worry. Julian has many more items in his collection, which he may display at a later date. If you can, and you see me there (we all wear name badges), won’t you come over and say hello?
Usually, we don’t allow photography in the ‘mini-exhibition’, as many of the artefacts are on loan from other organisations and some are very delicate. But, in this case, taking pictures is allowed … even encouraged. So, here are some images.