Temporary Exhibitions

Fancy A Cuppa?

7 November to 31 December 2017

There is something quintessentially British about a nice cuppa with an estimated 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in the United Kingdom. This exhibition celebrates all things "tea", exploring the history of tea drinking from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737BC to the 20th century.

The exhibitiom  showcases some of the many tea caddies, spoons and ceramics in the Museum’s collections.  Of particular note is a 19th century Spode/Copeland orchid tea set featuring illustrations from James Bateman’s 1837 book, The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala. The tea set was a special commission from the Spode factory, although who commissioned it is unknown.

Also on display is a black silk chiffon tea-gown from about 1894 -1901. Tea-gowns first appeared during the late 1870s, but became more fashionable during the 1880s and 1890s. They continued to be worn as part of an established day time dressing routine for well-off women during the Edwardian era, when they reached a pinnacle of femininity and decadence.

The exhibition is peppered with interesting facts about tea and there is an area to take in the aroma various teas.



At Your Leisure

11 February 2017 to 20 January 2018

In the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th century trade union power forced through industrial legislation resulting in half day closing on Saturdays. This combined with a rise in wages, and more disposable income, meant the workers had increased leisure time and more money to spend on it.  This exhibition looks at the historical background to some of the activities taking place in Runnymede, which now form part of today’s vast leisure industry.”