This new temporary exhibition is by way of being the Museum’s homage to a company which has contributed an incalculable amount to the life of the town for over a century and a half.
As part of our efforts to preserve the town’s Metal Box heritage, we have assembled hundreds of examples of colourful tin-ware from all periods of the Rock Valley factory’s production life. Many of these are only recently acquired, the majority at auction on the closing of the original factory in 2010, and are on display for the first time.
These are complemented by scores of other evocative artefacts, including a substantial collection of original artwork. This, aesthetic, side of the exhibition undoubtedly provides a rare visual treat for even the most casual visitor.
The story of Metal Box, however, is not contained solely in its decorative products, no matter how impressive. For the story of the factory is also the story of the thousands of local people who worked there. And not just worked but played, making full use of the copious social and sporting facilities provided by this enlightened employer.
To this end, the exhibition contains a range of photographic images which we hope will capture something of the human ‘feel’ of the now-demolished factory.
As well as having access to this unprecedented collection of Metal Box objects, visitors are able to watch a slide-show of images of the old factory, supported by fascinating commentary from knowledgeable ex-staff. Also helping expand the exhibition’s scope are audio recordings of ex-employees’ anecdotes, reminiscences and insider information, much of it garnered during the highly successful Memory Day held at Leeming Street in September 2010. (Topics range from apprenticeships and social events to ghosts!)
Whether you are a current or ex-employee, therefore, or simply someone who takes pleasure in contemplating beautiful, functional objects, we feel sure you will find much that is memorable in our modest appreciation of a much-missed part of the local scene.
This web page shows photographs in the week from Monday 26th September when the exhibition was being prepared to Saturday 1st October when it was opened by Mansfield’s Executive Mayor Tony Egginton. Photographs taken by Malcolm & pauline Marples
A Metal Box audio slideshow can be found on the following,
- Mansfield Museum YouTube Channel
- Mansfield Museum Facebook Page