Chelmsford Museum


As part of a complete museum overhaul and refurbishment, we worked to produce 45 AVs, interactive exhibits, audio experiences and games, exploring the history and development of this vibrant city across its full history, from all the back in prehistoric times, through to the modern day. All of the exhibits were developed and delivered to excite and educate visitors about the local area, exploring stories, people and places and how they impacted Chelmsford’s history.

Placing the visitor in the supporting role of an ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Warden at the height of The Blitz, they are tasked with ensuring that all the lights s in a street in Chelmsford are switched off.

With our supporting illustrations throughout, period text with cheeky prompting phrases like ‘Gosh that’s bright!’, and atmospheric animations such as the subtly moving searchlights and planes in the distance, we looked to evoke a strong sense of the time and place in which the game is set.

This subtle interactive acts as a charming and surprising piece of AV, with a ‘painted’ Mr Wells – the man who built Oaklands House where the museum is based – springing to life when visitors walk past, offering short insights into his life, the history of the building, and titbits of information about the museum and surrounding area.

We had a good degree of freedom across scripting through to filming, allowed us to deliver something quite contemporary, welcoming and magical right at the heart of the museum, and building itself.

Looking to create a fictional scene within the Chelmsford Corn Exchange at the turn of the 20th Century, we undertook background research into everything from period dress, to local pubs, points of interest, relevant historic events, and even which pubs and shops are still present in the City centre, helping ground the action in fact and finding items that visitors can connect will and find relevant.

As a part of the script writing process we also undertook research into Mr Currie, whose desk is physically situated within the gallery and in front of the projected AV, interspersing the story with relevant and accurate facts. We even confirmed the correct price of malting barley, in the same month that this transaction is said to have taken place!

Relating to a physical diorama of local wildlife in the museum, this interactive is presented as a switchable and animated day and night illustration of the museum. Visitors can explore various hotspots to find out what kind of animal is present, and learn some key facts alongside an image or video of them in their natural habitat in a fun and engaging way.

Offering visitors access to the historic 1591 Walker Map, they are able to explore a high-resolution version of the map and highlight points of interest and reveal supporting content within it over the past 400+ years.

They can also compare maps from 1591, 1890 and 2019 respectively, with a ‘Time Switch’ allowing them to peek through the time periods and see physical differences and details in the town’s buildings and layout through history.

We built a fully updateable and versatile interactive database covering an existing two, and two new sections relating to aspects of the City’s long history. It handles a wide range of media, and features keyword searching, alphabetical sorting, date range filtering and faceted search functions – all to help the visitor easily hone in on the exact keywords, dates and items of interest.