Dorset Museum’s exhibition celebrating the popular culture of the 1980s opens this December

November 1, 2022

Visitors can explore a time capsule of over 200 objects on display.

Visitors to the Dorset Museum in the county town of Dorchester are invited to take a trip back in time this winter, as the touring exhibition I Grew Up 80s makes its first stop in the Southwest region.

The family-friendly exhibition will be open from Saturday 3 December 2022 until Sunday 26 February 2023 in the Museum’s Special Exhibitions gallery. Entry to the exhibition is included as part of Day Tickets, Annual Passes, and Memberships.

Visitors of all ages can explore the popular culture of 1980’s Britain through the eyes of a child – revisiting the colourful vibrancy and innovation that defined the decade. From Betamax to BMX, Dirty Dancing to Donkey Kong, and the Thompson Twins to Transformers.

I Grew Up 80s is a time capsule of over 200 treasures, showcasing the youthful exuberance of the much-loved decade. Dorset Museum is the latest stop on its tour, having previously been shown at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery in Summer 2022.

The exhibition will also exhibit a beautifully preserved 1981 Mark 1 model Golf GTI, on loan from the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Dorset Museum will be the first to have this iconic car displayed within the exhibition.

Matt Fox, exhibition curator, collector, and cultural commentator, says: “Those that grew up 30-40 years ago pre-internet, in the 1980s, can genuinely state that life was very different then. In my view, the 80’s were a remarkable time to be a child. We can explore that through the objects that kids either owned or perhaps desperately wanted to! For example, you’ll see Dunlop Green Flash trainers alongside some achingly cool Adidas High Tops. Toys and electronic games that you once dreamed about on shop shelves or in the Argos catalogue. Iconic albums you played to death on vinyl and cassette. Chocolate bars and food items, like Sweet Cigarettes and Peanut Treets, that are no longer with us. Plus, some great examples of 80s design like boomboxes, swatch watches, and, ahem, purple shell suits!”

Lucy Johnston, Exhibition Manager at Dorset Museum says: “With hundreds of objects, sounds, and even a 1980s car, this exhibition promises to be big, bright and loud. It will bring the new as well as the nostalgic to our exciting exhibition programme, enabling visitors to experience the ‘I remember that moment as well as being relevant to current trends in music, fashion, and media. The latest in our exciting exhibition program, I Grew Up 80s will be one to remember.”

So, pull up your leg warmers and unscramble your Rubik’s cubes, because, like Bill and Ted in their phone booth or Marty McFly in his Delorean, Dorset Museum is ready to take you on a most excellent adventure to revisit one of the most iconic decades in history – the Eighties!