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On Saturday I visited Woking. Partly this was to go to the theatre, but partly it was to visit the museum there, which is called the Lightbox. There was one particular exhibition I really wanted to see, about vintage beauty, and as the whole museum is free, I thought I wouldn’t mind having a look at the rest of the exhibitions too.


The Lightbox

I started on the ground floor, in the Art Fund Prize Gallery, which had an exhibition on The Art of Marcel Ronay. I’d never heard of this early to mid-20th century artist before, but I liked his work, which is dark and unsettling. I also took a look at the art in the Corridor Gallery, which had a display called Art from the Vyne: Our Museum Community Project.

On the first floor, the Main Gallery had an exciting exhibition called The Giant Electronic Art Show, which had exhibits that you could touch and mess about with. I largely left these for the kids, but I enjoyed looking at the 3D-printed items on display.

Woking’s Story had a display on the history of the town, with items on the local firm Kenwood, the nearby asylum, and the Necropolis Railway which used to transport coffins from central London to Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking. I made a mental note to pay a visit to this cemetery someday.

Finally, I went up to the second floor to see the exhibition I had really come to see. In the Upper GalleryGlamour on the Go – Compacts: The Beautiful Story of Make-Up had an incredible display of compacts and other beauty accessories ranging across the twentieth century.


Matching compacts




Compact designs


Guitar compact


Compact designs


Compact designs


Vintage magazine and beauty accessories


Amazing evening bag containing a compact, comb, beauty tools… and a pair of opera glasses!


Assorted compacts


The original Boots No. 7 range


Max Factor cosmetics

Later, while wandering around Woking, I came across a rather odd-looking sculpture – a Martian. H.G. Wells was living in Woking when he wrote The War of the Worlds, and in the novel it is in Woking that the Martians first land. In celebration of this, the sculpture by Michael Condron was unveiled in 1998.