A DAY of celebration was held at Andover Museum to mark the completion of a community-led exhibition.

The Church Close museum marked the end of Asking Andover on August 17 after it secured £10,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to create the social history project.

The museum, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), partnered with Chapel Arts Studios (CAS) and Test Valley Arts Foundation to create the exhibition, which celebrates the town’s distinct heritage. It allowed residents to share and celebrate their rich and diverse personal histories of the town’s people through art, written memories, images and poetry, and by helping to choose artefacts to tell the story of Andover from the 1920s to the present day.

Associate artist James Aldridge from CAS transformed the museum’s gallery area into an interactive space where the local community was able to participate in heritage-related activities such as training in oral history and object handling, leading them to learn new skills, tell their stories and be creative. The project engaged with new residents to the town from recent housing developments, including Picket Twenty, as well as existing residents and volunteers from Andover Museum.

Louise Mackay, community manager, said: “We’re really proud here at Andover Museum to have given local residents the opportunity to co-curate an exhibition that reflects the diversity of the town’s social history.

“The legacy of this exhibition is that we will continue to collect the living memories of Andover residents and share them with future visitors. Activities such as oral history will help the museum to build important relationships with a variety of community groups and individuals. It has been an incredible experience to see the exhibition evolve with the help of our local community, our volunteers, staff and associate artist James Aldridge from CAS.”

Guests at the formal celebration included Andover Town mayor Councillor Richard Rowles, project co-ordinator Helen Ellis, artist James Aldridge and local residents who helped to co-curate the exhibition.