Curator Liz Davies explains how you can discover the hidden secrets and history of St Neots from the comfort of your home.

Experience the stories of local people through online articles and videos. Picture: St Neots MuseumExperience the stories of local people through online articles and videos. Picture: St Neots Museum

1. Download ‘the hidden St Neots family trail’

If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family without breaking the bank, why not take them on an adventure where they can explore and learn about the town?

The family trail is free to download from the St Neots Museum website. You’ll have fun discovering the town and spending quality time together.

Local artist Frances Corlett is exhibiting her show The Upcycling Crafter at St Neots Museum until September 2020. Picture: St Neots MuseumLocal artist Frances Corlett is exhibiting her show The Upcycling Crafter at St Neots Museum until September 2020. Picture: St Neots Museum

2. Find ideas for family craft activities

Learn how to craft bug hotels, and crazy collages using the museum’s online tutorials. You can turn household rubbish into unique art and craft creations.

“Your kids will love getting to spend time with you and craft projects will help develop their creativity and problem-solving skills,” Liz says.

3. Explore upcoming exhibitions

Local artist Frances Corlett is exhibiting her show ‘The Upcycling Crafter’ at St Neots Museum until September 2020. Look online to learn more about her work and preview some images. All of the pictures are created using recycled materials.

“It’s a fun way of promoting the benefits of upcycling and recycling. All pictures are for sale and will make a unique present for someone special,” Liz says.

4. Learn about St Neots with local history videos

Meet local Victorian criminals and discover the punishments they received. Learn about the Anglo-Saxon saint who gave the town its name. There are videos available for primary home learners and toddlers. They can learn about Woolly Mammoths and historic characters like the Eynesbury Giant. It’s a wonderful way to keep them entertained as they find out about local history.

5. Browse the museum’s extensive collections

Take a closer look at some items the museum cares for online - like Anglo-Saxon silver coins and mammoth bones - and discover what secrets they can reveal about the town.

6. Donate online

The museum is an independent charity which is partly funded by St Neots Town Council. It also received funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to help develop its website and social media to help the museum stay connected with people during lockdown.

“We depend heavily on donations and support from the local community to continue to provide services for visitors, schools and families,” Liz says. “You can donate via our website.”

7. Read stories about the town’s residents

The museum has gathered a collection of tales about residents that have lived in St Neots. In their online articles you can investigate the local history of folk medicine, ancient world myths, VE Day celebrations in 1945 and shopping in Victorian St Neots. Discover how fun and exciting it can be to learn about the people of the past.

8. Discover the experiences of local men who fought in the First World War

For the 100th anniversary of the war, the museum wanted to commemorate, reflect on and learn from the experiences of local people that lived through the First World War. They used the local newspaper to uncover letters and accounts from that time. You can explore the museum’s archives online and read the letters and poems sent home to local families.

9. Visit the museum and gift shop

St Neots Museum is a friendly local museum that tells the story of the town and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum is now open to visitors. Staff and volunteers are following government advice to ensure staff and customer safety. Social distancing is in place and capacity is restricted to avoid overcrowding. Sanitiser stations are available.

You can also visit the museum shop for local souvenirs and unique handmade gifts and cards produced by local artists and craft makers.

Visit stneotsmuseum.org.uk to discover more about the history of St Neots.

Call 01480 214163 or email curators@stneotsmuseum.org.uk for more information.

Follow them on Facebook @stneotsmuseum and Twitter and Instagram for the latest event news and details.