As many readers will know, Wycombe Museum in Castle Hill House in Priory Avenue has recently undergone a major refurbishment. Also it now has a new status as part of the Wycombe Heritage & Arts Trust. 

The museum explores the history of Wycombe district and its surrounding areas through hands-on galleries. It is a family-friendly museum and includes a well-stocked and cosy café.

The museum started life as the Wycombe Chair Museum, housed together with the town’s library in Queen Alexandra Road nearly opposite the council offices.

Chair galleries remain an important feature of the museum and these have now been made even more interesting with their latest addition. 

This is films of people speaking about memories evoked by the chair collection.

The collection features chairs with a specific use, especially quirky and unusual uses, such as a Barber’s chair, an early wheelchair, and a child’s coronation chair. 

This diversity of uses inspired film maker Laura Sims, formerly a lecturer at Bucks New University, to interview and film local people about their memories sparked by some of the chairs on display.

These people have a wide range of stories to tell, including experiences of disability, the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, and schools and churches in the twentieth century.

One participant remembers working as a young woman in an office in the 1950s and her story of a particular male colleague’s behaviour is extraordinarily topical. 

Stories of gardening, and growing fruit and vegetables in war times are very evocative.

One lady remembers as a child during the war ‘digging for victory’ on the common in front of their house and asking her mother what ‘victory’ would look like when she found it!

An early High Wycombe-made wheelchair prompts a wheelchair user to speak about the challenges of being a wheelchair user today, a situation that affects her in small ways an able-bodied person would never consider. 

Her mother was affected by polio, and she also discusses the stigma attached to using a wheelchair in the past.

The Coronation chair sparked memories of early TV as much as of the coronation itself. Many people bought a TV especially for the Coronation. 

These TV’s often had doors attached, and some people thought they needed to be closed to prevent the TV watching them back!

Barber Richard Silver remembers how frightened he was carrying out his first shave using a cut throat razor in the 1960’s. 

He talks about the changing fashions in men’s hairstyles, and how the ‘short back and sides’ popular in the early 1960s is very similar to a modern ‘fade shave’.

Richard celebrated 50 years in his shop, which he opened with his father in Marlow High Street, in May 1966. 

He has manned the shop himself since the early 70s, welcoming many famous faces through the doors ever since. 

These include actor Tom Chambers, a regular customer who has dubbed his haircuts as the best in the “town, century and world.”

Wycombe Museum is open every day and you can find opening hours and more information at