The late Mrs. Betty Penny MBE founded the Blandford Fashion museum, located in Lime Tree House, in 1996. The house is a beautiful Georgian property in Blandford Forum, built by John and William Bastard after the town’s Great Fire in 1731.

Mrs. Penny’s collection of costumes, known locally as the Cavalcade of Costume, form the nucleus of the present collection. However, since then the collection has almost trebled in size and continues to grow thanks to generous donations from the public.

The Arts Council gave the museum accredited status in 2010, and renewed it in 2015. We receive a small grant from the Town Council, but no other public funding. As a result, all our members of staff are volunteers and we have a reputation locally for our friendly atmosphere.

We have 13 display spaces over two floors, and there is a rolling programme of exhibition changes. Exhibitions show visitors historic dress and textiles and the connection between fashion and social history. Additional facilities include a Resources Room for use by students studying fashion & textiles and a Lecture Room for study days.

8 Replies to “About”

  1. Hi
    I have some 1950s clothes, and accessories that belonged to my mother, would you like them for your museum. Not really something I can donate to a typical charity. If interested I can give more details.
    Kind regards Cheryl

    1. Hello Cheryl
      Thank you for thinking of Blandford Fashion Museum, unfortunately we are not accepting any more donations at the current time. I’m sorry to disappoint you
      May we wish you success in finding a suitable home for your clothes and accessories
      Kind regards
      Kathryn
      Blandford Fashion Museum Administrator

  2. 1. I winder whether you have anyone who woukd advise me on whether I can wash some old ( it was ‘very old’ when my mother wore it in 1937) Brussells lace.

    2 I have one or two garments (a 1930s? black velvet and fur evening cat, a 1970s long laura Ashley cord dress and one or two other things) which might be of interest to you .

    Is there anyone I could speak t about these things?

    1. Hello Juliet

      Thank you for contacting Blandford Fashion Museum

      In regard to your first question can we respectively direct you to Poole Lace Circle, they might be able to give you some good advice on washing old lace

      Thank you for the offer of your garments, unfortunately we are not accepting any further donations at this time. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but wish you well in finding a suitable home for them

      kind regards
      Kathryn
      Blandford Fashion Museum Administrator

  3. I have a small collection of 19C button hooks and shoe horns to dispose of. While I could sell them, I would prefer to donate them to a museum., I wonder if you might be interested in them to complement your collection.

    Many thanks

    1. Dear Roger

      Thank you for thinking of Blandford Fashion Museum, unfortunately we are not accepting any more donations at this current time, I’m sorry to disappoint you

      May we wish you success in finding a suitable home for your button hooks and show horns

      kind regards
      Kathryn
      Blandford Fashion Museum Administrator

  4. I would like to bring a group of approximately 15 people to the museum as part of a day out in Blandford. We are predominantly over 60’s We would like to come in the morning if possible.
    Could we come on April 11th or 14th? Could you manage any more if the group grew?
    I would appreciate an indication if this is possible as I am sorting the programme!
    Kind regards
    Penny Joyce

    1. Hello Penny

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      I’ve asked Jean Longley, our Group Visit Co-ordinator to contact you regarding your visit

      kind regards
      Kathryn

      Blandford Fashion Museum Administrator

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