By Florence Wallace

When I found out that there was a Terry Pratchett exhibition at the Salisbury Museum I knew it would be popular. My partner Drew has many of his books; including all of the Discworld series. A few years ago we also introduced our twin boys to the author's well known Discworld-inspired picture book for kids ‘Where’s my Cow?’. So we dug out the books to re-familiarise ourselves with Pratchett’s extraordinary fantasy series and made our way to Salisbury

On our way to the museum we stopped off at the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral; journeying through the cloisters and into the Chapter House, to view one of the only four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta. With the help of an extremely engaging and knowledgeable guide we were able to explain its huge and ongoing global significance to the boys! 

Salisbury Cathedral

After a visit to the Cathedral, we made our way over to Salisbury Museum, which is conveniently located in the close! While the others were enjoying the many Pratchett-related delights in the shop, I asked at reception whether they had been visited by many of Terry’s famously loyal and enthusiastic fans. They told me they had been busier than ever and recently welcomed a couple of minibuses full of Terry Pratchett fans; many of whom were in full fancy dress! One had apparently gone to great lengths to create a gold coat! 

We spent the next 90 minutes or so wandering around the Museum finding out about Terry Pratchett’s life from his initial interest in books to when he was diagnosed with a very rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. The exhibition includes a huge number of extraordinary illustrations by Paul Kidby which truly brought Pratchett’s fantastic imagination to life.

Jamie enjoyed trying to use an old-school typewriter, which is rather alien to an 11 year old boy, raised on laptops and tablets. He was encouraged to write the name of his favourite book so he laboriously typed out letter by letter - ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite book by Jamie’. He then put this into an appropriately magical letterbox which made all sorts of strange digestive noises when the letter was posted.

Typewriter

Rory enjoyed dressing up in the 'out of this world' gold Postmaster General’s outfit worn by a character called Moist Von Lipwig in a book entitled ‘Going Postal’. We also came across many adults dressing up to, one fan happily dressing up as a wizard!

Dress up

Drew’s favourite part of the Museum was seeing the recreation of Terry Pratchett’s office. The room featured his six computer screens on a desk (eight wouldn't fit on the table!) One screen displayed the computer game Doom, the room also consisted of shelves full of books, a bird of prey hat, a coat stand and a quirky lectern with a distinctively magical old book securely chained to it.

Terry Pratchett Museum

My favourite part was the Discworld Massif, this included the amazing artwork by Paul Kidby and the interactive computer programme which helped you find out more about every one of the amazing characters in the picture.

Discworld:Massif

After leaving the Terry Pratchett exhibition we found ourselves in the Wessex Gallery which had some wonderful interactive displays highlighting the region’s unparalleled archaeological richness. The boys enjoyed seeing skeletons and finding out more about the people that onced lived in this area, including the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge.

Returning home it was clear the boys were enthused; both by the exhibition and the author. So they promptly went to find one of Drew's old books to read. Rory has started with graphic novel versions of Pratchett’s first two Discworld books: ‘The Colour of Magic, and ‘Light Fantastic’.

Wessex Gallery

Due to its popularity Salisbury Museum has extended its opening dates for the Terry Pratchett Exhibition and Paul Kidby exhibition 'The Charmed Realm' until January 14. Check website for details. On Saturday December, 9th there’s a special event entitled: ‘Terry Pratchett: HisWorld in Building Bricks’ where visitors can make a giant Lego brick version of the Pied Piper based on Paul Kidby’s artwork for Terry’s book ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents’ and attempt their own version of the famous many-legged ‘Luggage’ which featured in several of the Discworld novels, plus Pratchett Trail, storytelling and much more. 

Why not make take a step away from everyday life and enjoy a winter break in Salisbury. With many restaurants, hotels, and shops, Salisbury is a perfect city break. Find out more here.  

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