This autumn, step into the world of giants as a new exhibition at Clifton Park Museum celebrates the titans who have had a huge impact on Rotherham’s story.
Giants of Rotherham is a free exhibition that runs until January 2024. The upper floor rooms at Clifton Park Museum have been turned into a real-life fairy tale, sharing the true stories and quirky tales of larger-than-life characters from our town.
But there’s no beans or bone crunchers in sight. These are ordinary folk who have had their head in the clouds and feet firmly on the ground.
The team at Rotherham Museums, Arts and Heritage have collaborated with literacy hero, Richard O’Neill, and champion illustrator, Lydia Lapinski of Thoughts Make Things, to shine a light on people connected to Rotherham who have had big ideas or made mighty contributions to the community.
Go on an adventure through the different rooms to discover the inventors, entertainers, daredevils and changemakers. Lydia has created some epic illustrations which tower over the artefacts, stories and films on display.
Along with famous and familiar names like Jive Bunny and the Chuckle Brothers, there are some stories you may not have come across before. Did you know there was a mining family from Maltby who went on to become The Great Alzanas, some of the world’s best circus performers during the 1950s and ‘60s?
Or you might remember rubbing your towel on the nose of a bronze bust in Sheffield Road swimming baths. But did you know it was a statue of Thomas Burgess, the second person to swim the English Channel?
And most people will have heard of Wentworth Woodhouse. But do you know about how Lady Mabel Smith, part of the Fitzwilliam family, gave women a sporting chance by turning the family’s vast house into a girl’s PE college.
Take a visit to learn more about the likes of the Rotherham plough, marathon man Ray Matthews, and Dorothy Greene, the archaeologist responsible for uncovering the town’s Roman origins.
The family-friendly exhibition welcomes even the smallest of visitors, with lots of hands-on elements for kids for them to make the biggest tower or try their hand at circus skills.
The museum’s outreach team is also running a free drop-in activity this half term on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th October. Join textile artist Karen Hall in a printing workshop inspired by Edith Jagger who features in the exhibition. The sessions are at 10.30am-12.30pm and 1pm-3pm, suitable for children and adults. All artwork created will go on display in the museum.
For more information, visit www.cliftonpark.org.uk