Gallery 8: Victorian and Edwardian

The Victorian room

For a small town Ely had a large number of public houses: 38 in 1851 rising to around 60 by the end of the century. Many of these would have brewed their own beer and many of them would have been 'front parlour bars'. The town did have several full–scale commercial breweries however and the Maltings down by the river Ouse is what is left of one of these. Ely also had its own small change in the form of trade tokens and it is interesting to take a look at these tiny 17th Century tokens that were a form of local 'money'.

Take time as you pass through to look at the many items of domestic equipment and entertainment. There will for many of you be items recalled from the homes of grandparents or great grandparents. This is a display where the line between the past and the present begins to blur and memories of childhood long ago play a part. Yet for the youngster who might be with you, all on view will be quaint and ancient.

The cycles on display

The cycles on display are examples not only of early transport but of another occasion when Ely held the world stage. The Velocipede was ridden to victory in the first ever-recorded bicycle race in 1868 and the Penny Farthing won the World Cycling Championships of 1874.

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