What's the difference between Mythstories and any other museum? That's a question that's difficult to give a short uncomplicated answer to. The stock answer is our main collection is intangibles; stories you just can't touch. But somehow that just isn't quite the full story.
But then while waiting on Wem station for a train home a few weeks ago I met Holly, a young lady who'd come to us on Work Experience three years back. The answer to my self imposed question suddenly became clearer. The magic of Mythstories is making stories into tangible objects.
The reason that a chance meeting with Holly had inspired that revelation was the transformation that she and her fellow work experience student, Daragh, had wrought on the traditional display cabinet pictured above.
What you can see is a classic before and after shot. The two students were challenged with turning the display case that had been donated to Mythstories by storyteller, Helen East into a little box of Shropshire Treasures during their two week sojourn in the museum. That innvolved researching stories of the mythical creatures of some of the county's diverse landscapes and breathing life into them so they could be discoverd by visitors inside the drawers of the cabinet, like stories frozen in time.
Holly and Daragh rose to the challenge. The azrai from the bottom of Ellesmere Lake was created by Holly; she took the model home one night to bake the clay figure in the oven, and by the end of the week both Holly and Daragh had permanently green fingers from dying each strand of the mermaid-like creature's hair.
If you want to see what is in the other drawers you're just going to have to visit and view the cabinet of curiosities before your curiosity gets the better of you.