FREE TIME – Our Stories of Leisure Then and Now

Free Time Our stories of leisure then and nowFree Time is a brand new exhibition showcasing the results of a current project studying the changing nature of our leisure time over the last 60 years.

The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to capture and preserve the memories and stories of local people who used to, or still do, pursue hobbies that aren’t around so much nowadays. The new archive will be housed at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester for future generations to study.

Joe Stevens, project leader, said; “When you look at old black & white photos or films it can look like a completely different age, but what we are hearing is that life today is not that different from times past.” Joe added; “We are not just interested in people’s memories from long ago, but also the recent past. We are hoping to feature a range of stories from 1945, right up to the present day.”

Working with Dorset County Museum and the Dorset History Centre, the project has enabled young people to collaborate and share with the older population in a range of activities leading up to the exhibition. Over recent weeks volunteers have been out in the community capturing local people’s leisure time memories in Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth & Portland, and Sherborne.  As well as the archive, there will also be a website and an app for a ‘Walking Museum’ around Dorchester.

The Free Time exhibition will run at Dorset County Museum from 15th February to 17th May 2014.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on

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Christmas at the Dorset County Museum Shop

Dorset County Museum ShopIf you are looking for inspiration for your Christmas shopping, why not try somewhere a bit different?

Dorset County Museum has a lovely gift shop full of novel ideas for people of all ages.  From toys and games for the children, to jewellery, scarves, mugs and plenty of books – there’s sure to be something for everyone.  And while you are hunting for your stocking fillers be sure to call into the Museum’s popular Tea Room for a welcome drink and slice of home-made cake.

Entry to the shop and tea room is free – opening times are 10.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Saturday, and until 1st February visitors can also have a look around the current exhibition The Heart that Fed, which features the work of two local artists – paintings by Nell Race and sculptures by Angelika Seik.  Most of the pieces are for sales – one of them could be perfect for that special Christmas present!

For further information please see or telephone 01305 262735.


Happy Feet animator comes to Dorset County Museum

Sofronis Efstathiou, National School of Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

Sofronis Efstathiou, National School of Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

The current exhibition at Dorset County Museum, Pardoes ANIMATE!, has proved to be very popular with summer visitors.  As part of its ongoing animation theme, a professional animator and lecturer at
Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation is giving a talk about how Animation can become a viable career.

Sofronis Efstathiou will discuss a variety of student animation projects, explaining the different types of technical and creative skills used in their creation.  He will also emphasise  the importance of art, maths and science in this field and explain how they can directly affect the success of an animated film.  The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Before becoming Programme Leader of the MA course in 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, Sofronis worked in the Film and Games industry on projects such as “Happy Feet”, “300” and “Fable 2”, training artists and production staff on projects that would go on to win an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Games BAFTA.

Sofronis Efstathiou talk takes place on Thursday 12th September 2013 at 6.00pm. Entry to this lecture is FREE

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on

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