Given the nicknames of my children, it will come as no surprise that Winnie The Pooh holds a special place in my heart. Although I have always loved the stories from AA Milne, which have been beautifully brought to life by the illustrations from EH Shephard. The continued affection for the adventures and characters stems from a gift that my dad bought me as a young girl.
Unfortunately, my dad and I did not have a great relationship and from my childhood, I have just two items from him. A Merrythought teddy bear and a book – The Complete Winnie The Pooh Collection. Inside the cover, he wrote a short inscription which at the time was something I dismissed. However, now I can appreciate the value in it and gives me a way to see his handwriting and recall one of our fonder memories.
A few months ago I was contacted to see whether I would like to attend the Winnie The Pooh Exhibition at the V&A Museum in London. Unable to attend the event I promised myself that I would visit the vent before the end of the special exhibition. With a trip planned to London for a meeting, I booked myself a ticket for the afternoon. However, the Beast from the East put paid to my plan to attend. I was so upset that I wouldn’t once again be able to visit.
Whilst planning a girls day out in the capital with Roo, her best friend and her mum I asked if we’d be able to squeeze in a trip to the V&A Museum for the exhibition. Thankfully they all agreed – although I was the driver so would have pulled rank on them if they had said no (hehe).
Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
This multi-sensory and playful exhibition explores the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh – one of the most adored fictional characters of all time
Third time lucky I was able to make it to the V&A Museum bright and early one Sunday morning. Although I had initially planned to attend on my own it was lovely that I was able to share the experience with Roo and friends.
Opening the door to the exhibition transported me back to my childhood. Suddenly the words and illustrations from the stories became familiar once again. Just like catching up with a long-lost friend, as though no time has passed between us.
Taking the time to wander through the exhibition, reading the notes besides illustrations, quotations from the stories and the products produced to celebrate the characters. The walls adorned with snippets of familiar words and illustrations that took you right into the heart of the stories that have been enjoyed by many for so many years.
Segments of the stories had been brought to life with little doorways to walk through, chests to open and complete puzzles. And of course, the iconic bridge where you can play pooh sticks (albeit digitally).
The thought as to what the stories mean to so many shows in the displays around the exhibition. Each segment having its own space to shine rather than trying to compete for attention. With a darkened area set up to listen to the delightful Winnie The Pooh stories. Words projected onto a slanting roof space that sees them bounce around and sweep in keeping with the pace of the story – mesmerising.
I do hope that the exhibition returns in years to come, so many more people need to be able to enjoy the magic of Winnie The Pooh.
The Winnie The Pooh Exhibition is running at the V&A Museum, London until Sunday 8th April 2018.