West Berkshire Council

'Something Old, Something New' at West Berkshire Museum

West Berkshire Museum is celebrating the changing fashions of wedding dresses and traditions in a new special exhibition.

Something Old, Something New - Display at West Berkshire Museum

Issued on: 29 November 2016


Something Old, Something New starting November 2016 - December 2017 will look at how marriage and weddings have been at the heart of society for centuries. If you were planning a wedding in the late 19th century, you may well have offered entertainment such as archery or croquet for the elders, and coffee and tea as refreshments, but certainly not wine. How things have changed!

One long standing tradition that remains at the heart of wedding ceremonies is the bridal gown, used to reflect the religion or culture of the wedding participants. This fascinating exhibition features some of the dresses from the museum's collection that have all been worn at weddings in West Berkshire and beautifully illustrate the changing styles, colours and materials throughout history. 

Something Old, Something New, features dresses from the 1860's to the 1970's including the stunning dress worn by Sue Hopson when she married David Hopson of the famous Newbury store Camp Hopson in 1957.   

The most recent dress exhibited has been lent by local lady Julia Ward, and was crocheted for her in 1979 by the manager of the wool shop where she worked in Northbrook Street.   

Ruth Howard, Museum  Officer said, "We are very pleased to be able to show these beautiful dresses, they are associated with weddings from parishes all around West Berkshire It has been fascinating to research the brides who wore them.  We would love to see your West Berkshire wedding dress, just upload and join the discussion on our West Berkshire Museum Facebook page."

Something Old, Something New accompanies other special exhibitions currently on at the museum including 'The Lie of the Land' landscape paintings around West Berkshire, 'Thatcham Remembered' in old photographs and The 'Boxford Masques Exhibit' which tells the story of this 100 year old tradition.

See what's on at West Berkshire Museum, The Wharf, Newbury RG14 5AS, 01635 51956