The first of several blogs from the Happy Museum commissioned Story Museum…

The Story Museum plans to open fully in 2015. At the moment, we’re still in our development phase ? what we like to call our ?pumpkin stage’? working on plans for the transformation of our building as well as our story collection and a pilot events programme. Throughout this period, we aim to embed the concept of wellbeing in all our activity, not only in the design of the future Museum but also, for example, in the way we run our meetings to the welcome we give visitors. This phase of our development has also given us an early opportunity to build a corresponding personality for the Museum through the way we market and present ourselves to the outside world.

We have incorporated an Art and Mischief element to our marketing, supplying the media with quirky stories and helping to create a window frontage which intrigues, raises a smile ? and gets us picture stories in newspapers and blogs rather than plain column inches. We have two fantasy windows, created by local artists, which have put us firmly on the local tourist circuit. Here’s Rochester’s Story Supplies, a household goods shop purely for fictional characters. It offers packets of giant beans, shoe polish for glass slippers, dental floss for giants, even wolf repellent. Even the small ads in the corner feature Dalmatian puppies for sale and items from The Borrowers.

We also have a small display featuring the famous Pea, vital for the selection of Royal Brides- to-be, recently discovered in the late Queen Mother’s third handbag.

We have also managed to turn setbacks to our media advantage: we own the red telephone kiosk, just outside our building, which is currently displaying a scene from ?The Owl and the Pussycat’ to celebrate Edward Lear’s birthday. Last Christmas we hung up a Santa suit inside, and attached a laundry label (for collection December 24). Sadly, someone broke into the kiosk and made off with the outfit, beard included ? but we turned this to our advantage, told the press and grabbed a headline with ?Scrooge-like thief nabs Santa’s suit?.

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