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Ducking stools, disembodied heads and blood and guts arrive at Kingston Museum
If you go down to Kingston Museum today, expecting a gentle stroll through history, beware.
Expect disembodied heads, gruesome torture implements, blood and guts, and realistic re-enactments of foul deeds.
Behave or else: Chloe Berry 15, and Lauren Baker, 15, with a blood-soaked axe and dagger
Students at Anstee Bridge have taken over the top floor of the museum for an exhibition delving into five centuries of crime and punishment in the borough.
Crimes of the past have been recreated in the town by students and filmed to be shown on a loop.
Head boy: Harry Levick, 16, taking a moment to fix skulls to the wall
Jason Philps, a teaching assistant at Anstee Bridge, said: "Looking up at the vastness of the gibbetts and seeing the eyeballs, there's a good thing of laughter, but when you read the stories about the woman burned at the stake it is a mixture.
"Visitors are enjoying it but a couple of people turned to me and said the stories were dark. They have no idea there's been a burning in Kingston and certain punishments were so painful.
"You stole a loaf of bread; 15 lashes and hard labour."
Maid earlier: Jade Hitchin, 15, setting out the exhibition's stall
Which witch: Katie Thomas, 16, and Tiffany Goddard, 15, with a fool-proof ducking stool contraption for weeding out the wicked from the weird
The exhibition has been dreamed up and created by students on the Anstee Bridge programme, led by Katherine Greening and which supports Year 11 students who, for one day a week, require an alternative to school to ensure better engagement with education.
It is a far cry from last week's more sedate Mayor's fashion show for charity where (left to right) Lauren Baker, volunteer Jackie McCulloch, Tiffany Goddard, seated and Keeley Malone, among others designed and sold clothes.
The crime and punishment exhibition was inspired by the Clink Museum in London, with reprehensible behaviour from Tudor times through to the Victorian era represented.
Their last project travelled back to the 1950s with self-portrait cartoons celebrating British Railways - recently installed at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.
Soldier boy: Frank Diggins in front of his likeness at last year's transport exhibiton displayed in the Market House
Cartoon time: Illustrator David Lewis helped create the cartoons for the transport exhbition and this year's crime and punishment takeover
Mr Philps said: "It is just so fun. We communicate with the students by giving confidence through creativity and it seems to excite the students and keep their interest."
Kingston's mayor Councillor Penny Shelton said: "I thought the talent shown there was enormous. Their ideas and creation was very interesting.
"I really thought the artwork particularly the black and grey paintings as well as their hard work, it's really tremendous."
Old blue eyes: Jason Philps was nominated as a Surrey Comet unsung hero last year for his work at the Anstee Bridge
Hannah Ward, Kingston Museum’s learning and engagement officer, said: “The young people are inspiring. They have such vision and it has been an honour to help them to exhibit that.
"Each one of them has a unique and effervescent personality, which can clearly be seen in their work.
"The subject matter seems to have captured their imaginations and I believe our museum will be so much more the richer for hosting their exhibition."
1,000 years of crime and punishment. Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston, KT1 2PS
Open until Saturday, April 26, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 10am to 5pm, Thursday 10am to 7pm.
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