St Albans’ architectural and archaeological society celebrates 175th anniversary with museum exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:23 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23 02 November 2020

St Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie Hill

St Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie Hill

Archant

St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society is set to celebrate 175 years with an exhibition at St Albans Museum.

St Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie HillSt Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie Hill

Originally scheduled for summer, the exhibition was postponed due to the pandemic and opened on October 10, with a physical exhibit at the museum, paired with a virtual experience.

The museum-based exhibition will take a brief hiatus and close from Thursday, November 5 – in line with incoming coronavirus restrictions – and will reopen on December 2 until January 31 2021.

The society was formed in October 1845, and now boasts over 500 members who work to protect and promote the heritage of the city.

President John Morewood said: “Like those who formed the society in 1845, we seek to promote an interest in and the study of local history.

St Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie HillSt Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie Hill

“The exhibition tells the story of the city and its environs through a collection of fascinating objects, each illustrating an aspect of the society’s regional and national achievements.”

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The exhibition was the first, and remains the only, post-lockdown exhibition hosted by the St Albans Museum and Gallery.

Andie Hill, publicity officer for SAHAA said that the exhibition aims to reach new audiences: “In the social media world, we wanted to make it very visual and reach out to people who perhaps wouldn’t normally be that interested in a history exhibition.”

St Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie HillSt Albans and Herts Arc & Arc are celebrating their 175th anniversary this year. Picture: Andie Hill

Being almost ready to open when the pandemic hit in March, Andie added: “We worked really hard to adapt it to the new restrictions. We worked very closely with the museum to make sure that it’s safe.

“There’s lots of fun things that we’ve done. We’ve taken some of the text from some very funny diaries written – it’s like Enid Blyton re-written in the 1930s! We’ve picked out quotes and put them on the walls. Visually, it’s really good fun, and it’s full of St Albans history, of course.”

Although the in-person exhibition is closed for the next month, the society is still encouraging people to get involved online, and to return to the museum when it reopens.

John added: “175 years isn’t a stopping point, it’s a launching pad,” encouraging forward thinking for the society and the exhibitions attendees.

To visit the online exhibition, visit SAHAA’s website.


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