Exhibition in St Ives looks at the history of the River Great Ouse

A scaled model of a Fen Lighter boat. A common sight along the Great Ouse until the early 20th centu

A scaled model of a Fen Lighter boat. A common sight along the Great Ouse until the early 20th century is just one of the exhibts at the exhibition at the Norris Museum. - Credit: Archant

An exhibition that celebrates the historical importance of the River Great Ouse is taking place in St Ives.

The exhibiton is at the Norris Museum in St Ives till March 14

The exhibiton is at the Norris Museum in St Ives till March 14 - Credit: Archant

The St Ives Town Team, in association with the The Norris Museum, St Ives, is staging The Port On The River Exhibition at the museum until March 14, The exhibition will be open from 10am till 4pm, from Monday to Saturday.

Considered to be one of the great crossroads of England, the Great Ouse is 160 miles long from its source in Northamptonshire to the sea at King's Lynn. During its slow course it collects many tributaries to link a huge network of waterways across the Fens and people have travelled up and down this highway for millennia.

Chris Lewis, who opened the exhibition, said: "The opening event was the first time that I had seen the exhibition and I was left extremely impressed. There is much information on display, but visitors will not feel overwhelmed.

"It tells a bright and colourful story of the historical importance of the River Great Ouse to the well known impressive heritage of St Ives and the surrounding area.


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"Both visitors and long time residents may find the story quite stunning. Features on display include a number of attractive and informative panels each covering a key aspect of the history, not least the challenging and dangerous problems faced by those who 'worked' the river.

"To me a highlight feature is the timeline floor path that visitors can walk on around the room. Its lighthearted information and cartoon drawings seemed to attract both young and old. In contrast the display of original late 19th and early 20th century paintings of the river at St Ives bought the history to life. One of the aims of this exhibition is to allow people to view the river rather differently in future."

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Visitors will be able to take the detail away with them by purchasing an exhibition catalogue which contains more information about the subject and a bibliography of further reading.

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