Invercargill pop-up museum attracts nearly 200 visitors in three days

Invercargill City Libraries and Archives archivist Rebecca Smith holds a photograph of the Hallensteins building on the ...

Invercargill City Libraries and Archives archivist Rebecca Smith holds a photograph of the Hallensteins building on the corner of Dee and Esk St.

Elephant races on Invercargill's Tay St are just one memory on display at a pop-up museum in the city centre this week. 

The miniature museum has only been open since Monday and attracted nearly 200 visitors through the doors.

Invercargill City Libraries and Archives archivist Rebecca Smith said visitors were reminiscing of times long past. 

A carved owl stirred memories of the Brown Owl, a cafe which closed in the 1950s, Smith said. The Brown Owl was the first cafe in New Zealand to serve alcohol. 

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"You could sit with your whole family while your wife had a cup of tea as opposed to the man going off to a separate establishment." 

All items were on temporary loan from owners, Smith said. She had received a range of interesting loaned items. 

"As the person loaning, you know that you are getting your item back. It's been great for people to see their items on display, and know other people are enjoying them as well." 

Smith said she was nervous about the pop-up museum and did not know if enough items would be loaned. 

"We installed the items across two days but there was a lof of work before that, getting all the blurbs together," Smith said.

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"It's full of stories you wouldn't otherwise hear."

Twenty volunteers were supervising the display during the course of the week, Smith said. 

"A lot of them are friends of the museum and SIT have some students who are keen to volunteer as well, so they will come in the weekend.

"People are coming in and being reminded of things. With the elephants on Tay St [1954], some people were there and can remember it."

The pop-up museum is open until Sunday between 10am and 2pm. For a first attempt at a pop up show for Heritage Week it had been successful, Smith said. They would likely hold a second pop-up museum for other heritage events. 

"I've heard other people saying it will only get bigger and better." 


 - Stuff

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