The villagers who joined forces to turn their community into an exciting exhibition

A treasure hunt has been launched to look at the ‘amazing’ history of an East Durham village.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 3:02 pm

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The street museum and treasure hunt in Blackhall. Photo: Alan Sill Photography.
The street museum and treasure hunt in Blackhall. Photo: Alan Sill Photography.

And people still have time to enjoy the trail which takes them around the homes, shops and community hubs of Blackhall.

If that’s not enough, an outdoor exhibition has also started in the village and it will be on show until Sunday, April 24.

It is all part of a project which aims to get people involved in the arts.

Some of the people who have taken part in the Blackhall Street Museum project. Photo: Alan Sill Photography.

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A group called East Durham Creates joined forces with Durham University in 2020, for a project called Street Gallery.

It first started in Dawdon and encouraged local people to curate their own exhibition and turn the windows of their home into a gallery.

Now the project has returned but this time in Blackhall and with a name of Street Museum.

Street Museum is all about bringing objects which are normally seen in museums into people’s homes, businesses and community spaces. Organisers have worked in Blackhall since last October and have come up with an outdoor exhibition where 3D printed history objects appear in the windows of homes, shops and community hubs.

A display which explains what the Blackhall Street Museum is all about. Photo: Alan Sill.

The project also involves a treasure hunt which weaves thousands of years of history into everyday places and spaces with the spirit of their community at its core.

Alison Paterson, Manager of Blackhall Community Centre said: “It has been a truly amazing project and exceeded our expectations. So many people have learned so much about ancient history, both local and far afield.”

Jess Hunt, Director of East Durham Creates said, “This project has been community driven and an opportunity for people in East Durham to connect with the fantastic collections of the University right on their doorsteps and bring something to their communities which is normally only seen in cities, museums and galleries.”

Liz Waller, Director of Libraries and Collections at Durham University said this was the ‘first of many really innovative projects we intend to run with communities like Blackhall.”

People taking part in the Blackhall Street Museum and treasure hunt. Photo: Alan Sill Photography.

For more information and the full map visit http://eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/streetmuseum/

Treasure hunt maps are available for collection from Blackhall Community Centre. Participants can explore the village, uncover the story and find all of the objects to collect a prize. Taking part is free.

Find out more by ringing the Community Centre on (0191) 5867396.

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Taking part in the village-wide Street Museum project. Photo: Alan Sill Photography.