More of Salisbury's stories needed for Museum's online exhibition

More of Salisbury's stories needed for Museum's online exhibition

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 7:01am 26th July 2020.

3 minute read

Salisbury Museum launched their 'Pick & Mix' Instagram project during lockdown to help celebrate the city's 800th anniversary this year.

It's the first time they've ever held an online only exhibition, with their hand forced by the Covid-19 restrictions. 

The aim is to tell some of the hidden history of Salisbury and the surrounding areas through 'fascinating objects and community voices'.

Those stories will then be shared on the Museum's dedicated Instagram page.

View this post on Instagram

???????? ???? ??????????????????? On 23rd June 1897, the streets were about to be filled with people celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. A large procession (including the museum's own Salisbury Giant and hob-nob) set off at 11 o'clock and paraded through the main streets. The procession included many important officials, clubs, societies and professions - all dressed up. "A section of Salisbury cyclists turned out on decorated machines ... Mr. and Mrs. Blanchett of Wilton, riding a tandem bicycle, fitted so as to represent a yacht. Mr. Keevil of St. Mark's Road, had organized a very amusing group, representing milkmen in old fashioned smock frocks and carrying milk pails". Queen Victoria herself didn't much care for the idea of a large public celebration, according to Historian Prof Walter Arnstein. She thought it was not altogether appropriate and had to be talked into it. The 78-year-old monarch paraded in her state coach through the London streets to St. Paul's Cathedral. She recorded in her journal: "No-one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those six miles of streets...The cheering was quite deafening and every face seemed to be filled with joy". #WhenInSalisbury #pickandmixtsm #salisburyhistory #socialhistory #museumlife #MuseumFromHome #instamuseum @salisburymuseum @visitsalisbury @visitwiltshire @wessexmuseums @heritagefunduk

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The team's had some great stories sent in to them so far, but they're calling for more of us to share our pwn experiences, past or present.


Among the details that have been submitted is the final part of the life of Salisbury man Jim Smith.

The Museum already had some artefacts from Jim's time serving during World War Two - including his time as a Japanese prisoner of war, and returning home in later 1945.

But Jim's son Ken Smith has helped to provide some details of what happened next.

Jim Smith and Mary Smith Salisbury Museum Pick & Mix exhibition July 2020
Jim and Mary Smith on their honeymoon in Folkestone in 1947

Ken says his dad met his mum and had many happy years together: 

"Jim and Mary met three days before the war started. Jim was nineteen and Mary was fifteen. After the war when my Dad was back in Salisbury, he heard that Mary was living in Exmouth and as far as he knew, unattached. With his back pay, Dad had bought a car. Petrol was rationed, but as an ex-POW, he had an allowance. He drove down to Exmouth to see her and the rest is history. 

"They were married in 1947 and moved to Salisbury. This delightful snap (above) was taken of Jim and Mary on their honeymoon in Folkestone in June 1947. Although taken in summer, the picture shows Jim is well wrapped-up in a sweater and a raincoat! This may indicate that he is still adapting to the comparative chill of a British summer after his years in the tropics."

Jim Smith and Mary Smith Little Junk Shop Salisbury Museum July 2020
Jim and Mary outside 'The Little Junk Shop' in Greencroft Street in the 1970s

Jim and Mary also ran a shop on the corner of Greencroft Street and Salt Lane, selling an 'eclectic mix of objects'.

He was also a keen artist and went on to write and illustrate a series of popular children's books called 'The Frog Band' - taking inspiration for the musical amphibians from a china set on sale in the shop! 


Salisbury Museum is keen to hear stories just like Jim's for their online exhibition.

You can send them in by emailing or by visiting the Pick & Mix website.

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