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Refurbished Victorian grocer shop opens for business

Monday, August 10, 2015

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Visitors to Preston Park Museum can pick up some fresh produce from a working Victorian grocery shop thanks to the hard work of museum volunteers.

Grocer shop Cuthbert Webster in the museum’s Victorian street has been refurbished as a fully functioning shop where members of the public can find out all about shopping habits during the late 1800s and pick up some of the delicious fresh produce grown in the museum’s Victorian walled garden.

Until recently the shop had a large protective sheet of glass which separated the counter from its visitors – a feature that was part of the original design from the 1970s.

Staff and volunteers have spent two months transforming the store into an exciting space where costumed shopkeepers can now interact and engage with their visitors.

A range of museum grocery artefacts from the late Victorian period will be on display and volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate and explain the traditional way of doing the weekly shop.

The grocers will also sell loose leaf tea, a product which became massively popular in Britain during the 19th Century.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “The Victorian street has always been a popular attraction at Preston Park Museum so it is wonderful to have the addition of a fully-functioning grocer shop.

“The volunteers have worked extremely hard to turn the shop into a welcoming space where visitors can learn about the Victorians and buy some of the fresh produce grown in the museum grounds. It really is a one of a kind experience.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Preston Park Museum, and for further information, please call 01642 527375 or email [email protected]

For further information about Preston Park Museum and Grounds, visit www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk