Folk Hall’s walls now a tribute to times gone by

Peter Milsom at the open day, with some of the exhibits

Visitors to the Folk Hall in Portishead’s High Street had an opportunity in late September to take a trip down memory lane by browsing through a wonderful array of local memorabilia and artefacts.

The collection is a feature of the Heritage Centre – a project long in the making that is housed at the hall. While the centre has yet to open officially, local items from times gone by were on display over the weekend of September 25-26, when the Folk Hall served as one of several venues for the first Portishead Arts Festival. Some will remain as permanent fixtures on the walls of the hall.

Highlights included a wonderful array of photos, postcards, hand-drawn sketches and council records from yesteryear, an 1894 copy of the Portishead Gazette, Tythe maps dating back to the 1840s, twinning memorabilia, industry memorials and an old tea service with the Portishead crest. A detailed timeline display, created by the late Sandy Tebbutt, the well-known local historian who was actively involved in bringing the project to fruition and who sadly died earlier this year, is undoubtedly set to be a talking point. 

Peter Milsom, who was overseeing the display on Saturday, described the collection as “a lovely little treasure trove for the people of Portishead”. 

“It’s not an open museum, since the pieces won’t be left out on show, although we hope that arrangements will be made for people to come and view them at certain times in the future,” he said. “For now, it’s been lovely to let visitors see the display as part of the festival and admire the newly installed permanent exhibits.”