I went to the opening but there seemed to be few of the usual local suspects in attendance. The art world seemed more dominant. There was Kate Hoey
however and she gave quite an impassioned speech about local history and the importance of retaining old buildings - I think she was winding herself up for the meeting about Founders Place later the same evening.
The local history display is confined to the single bay of the church where the font is. It is very much an "installation" using sound, slides and light in quite a clever way: features in the cryptic-time line painted on the walls are picked out to coincide with what's being said and the photographs being displayed. You have to look down into the font to see the photographs so only one or two people at a time can really enjoy the experience. There are also a few artifacts in a display case and some oral history from local worthies you can listen to through earphones. Its not the sort of thing that is going to satisfy serious students of local history or anyone doing research but it probably works quite well as an incident in the Museum of Garden History. It shows very much the influence of the local gallery owner Danielle Arnaud. Not sure whether it is worth £40,000 but anything seems to cost a lot of money these days (I'm in my grumpy old man mood)