Tradition and Innovation: The Story of Market Towns

Story of Market TownsTradition and Innovation:
The Story of Market Towns

A fascinating touring exhibition that tells the story of the development of market towns and Britons’ changing shopping habits from the medieval period to the 21st century.

It discusses the issues facing market towns, such as the rise of out-of-town shopping, as well as the ability of market towns to survive and thrive in the face of adversity.

Diss 3 Market_town_ghosts_IMG_1842The exhibition is availble to hire from Museums Norfolk.
It includes:

  • 6 exhibition panels, plus a banner stand for an additional tailored panel about your local market town. These are freestanding grasshopper banners that can be easily set up and broken down.
  • Handling collection containing objects that help tell the story of the development of market towns and the history of shopping in Britain.
  • Touchscreen computer and touchscreen presentation of images and oral histories.
  • Object labels (Word document) that tie into the design of the exhibition. We would encourage host museums to create a display of objects from their collection that complements the exhibition.

Although we advise museums to loan the entire exhibition (panels, handling collection and touchscreen), it may be possible to hire only the panels depending on individual museum needs. Please contact us on on admin at to discuss your requirements.

The exhibition features specially commissioned ‘ghost’ photographs by Norwich-based photographer Nick Stone, which merge archive images with his own present-day pictures to demonstrate changes that have taken place in the high street over the last century. you can see examples of these at

Tradition and Innovation: The Story of Market Towns was created by Museums Norfolk with funding from SHARE Museums East, the organisation that delivers museum development across the East of England. It has toured to Sheringham, Diss and Wymondham museums and the Museum of the Broads in Stalham.

photograph of the exhibition panels