Explore the history of St Albans in 70 objects

The history of St Albans in 70 objects: 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Freeman's cigarette case

The history of St Albans in 70 objects: 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Freeman's cigarette case - Credit: Archant

Seventy historic objects will be brought out of storage this weekend for a special exhibition about the district’s history.

From a smashed cigarette case retrieved from 22-year-old 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Freeman from Harpenden, who was killed in the Battle of the Somme, to a Roman glass fragment, the Objects on Demand exhibition will take place on Saturday (23) and Sunday (24) at the old Town Hall.

Volunteers and staff from St Albans Museum have carefully picked intriguing objects from the museum’s collection, dating from the Roman and Medieval eras through to more recent times.

The display will give event-goers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the district’s museum and view its collection of historic artefacts, with exhibits chosen either because they were intriguing or they had not been on display for some time.

Other exhibits include fashionable silk stockings made at the Ballito Hosiery factory in Hatfield Road and a pilgrim badge with an intricate design bought as a souvenir from the St Albans Cathedral.

The Museum of St Albans was based in Hatfield Road and closed in September last year as part of a planned redevelopment of the Town Hall.

Work is due to begin in the spring on converting the Town Hall in Market Place into a £7.75 million museum and art gallery.

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During the run-up to the opening, scheduled for autumn 2017, a series of pop-up events like Objects on Demand will be staged.

The council’s portfolio holder for heritage, Cllr Annie Brewster, said: “This will be a wonderful chance to look behind-the-scenes at the work done by the museum team.

“People will be able to see up close some of the collection’s most startling exhibits and experience some fascinating British history through the lens of St Albans.”

St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust (SMGT), a registered charity, is leading efforts to raise £1.7 million with the Heritage Lottery Fund providing the rest of the required finance.

For information about sponsorship and donor recognition, contact Mike Gray, chairman of SMGT, through the Trust’s website.