Last chance to visit Pride in Suffolk’s Past exhibition and “coming soon”

There is still time to book free tickets to the Pride in Suffolk’s Past exhibition via www.ticketsource.co.uk/suffolk-archives before it closes on Sunday 4th July.

The exhibition is open seven days a week at The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront. Free tickets are booked in advance and timed, to ensure continued compliance with COVID-19 safety regulations.  

Pride in Suffolk’s Past focuses on original documents found in Suffolk Archives and local collections to explore the hidden histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Suffolk’s past.  Also in the exhibition are stories and contributions shared by the thriving LGBTQ+ community in Suffolk today. 

Too often untold because of legal and social repression, now these stories can be shared, for future generations to understand how things have changed over time, as well as exploring what work is still to be done. This is the culmination of an in-depth two-year project forming part of “Sharing Suffolk Stories”, a countywide National Lottery Heritage Fund supported programme of activities which enables communities to discover more about the history of where they live and to share it in new and engaging ways.   

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “I am delighted that The Hold was able to reopen its doors with the Pride in Suffolk’s Past Exhibition. This is such an important exhibition reflecting the lives of the LGBTQ+ community in Suffolk both past and present. I’d also like to thank everyone involved in the project who has shared their stories and supported the exhibition, ensuring that these voices can be heard.”

Emily Shepperson, Exhibition and Interpretation Officer at The Hold, said: “It felt significant to open this exhibition in time for Pride Month 2021.  It offers an opportunity for all our visitors, including students and families with children, to explore the heritage and celebrate the contribution of the LBGTQ+ community throughout Suffolk.  Visitors of all ages are enjoying visiting The Hold and are finding this exhibition to be a moving and hopeful experience.  It’s a good way to begin important conversations about the people who paved the way for social change.”

Anne Jenkins, Director, England Midlands and East, National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We are proud to support Suffolk Archives in preserving the hidden LGBTQ heritage of Suffolk. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this history will now be shared with the wider community and will highlight the local people who have paved the way for social change.”

A range of Pride-linked curator tours and other special events are taking place throughout the exhibition run, including a pop-up Suffolk Archives Escape Room series on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July.  Escape Room guests race against the clock to decode cryptic messages, solve riddles, and gather clues, based on two key individuals in the Pride in Suffolk’s Past exhibition, Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson and Nina Layard. Booking is available through www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/pride-escape-rooms

Looking ahead to summer, from Saturday 17 July to Thursday 27 September The Hold will welcome its new blockbuster exhibition, Brick History.  This is a family-friendly journey through history, all imagined in Lego bricks.  LEGO® artist Warren Elsmore and his team celebrate our shared stories using everyone’s favourite Danish toy.   

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