Spalding Gentlemen’s Society has a dedicated space at Ayscoughfee Hall where it can mount exhibitions created from its extensive collections. The Society is pleased to be able to work in the home of its founder, Maurice Johnson.
Currently the display is of Optical Aids and Instruments. This is very appropriate as our most famous member, Isaac Newton, is widely celebrated for his treatise on ‘Opticks’.
The exhibition has been lovingly researched and composed by Society members Janet and Matt Burgess. They have spent 18 months on the project. On an early visit to Broad Street their interest was drawn to a 19th century Davidson Double Optometer. Tracing the history of this object then led to other objects and spectacles scattered around the museum. Not wishing to leave a job half done most Thursday evenings thereafter were spent systematically going through the cabinets locating, dating, and itemising each individual specimen connected with eyes, culminating in the cemented bifocals discovered just recently.
We are very grateful to Janet and Matthew for putting together this display with the help of our curators. Thanks also to Ayscoughfee for their hospitality in housing the exhibition. This project has already drawn the attention of other heritage organisations who have expressed interest in hosting the exhibition.
‘Optics’ can be seen during Ayscoughfee’s normal opening hours and will run to the third week in July.