Cymdeithas Aberaeron Society has held an annual exhibition most years since 2007, when Aberaeron celebrated its Bicentenary with a programme of parties, concerts and celebrations. A Heritage Lottery grant supported the first exhibition, and since then, for 6 or 7 weeks over the summer, either the Tabernacle chapel vestry in Tabernacle Street, or Peniel chapel vestry in Water Street has been transformed into an exhibition space, attracting an average of 1,500 visitors. The exhibitions have proved really successful entertaining locals and visitors alike, and people have said how fascinating it’s been to enjoy the displays of items which were around and in use 100 or so years ago.
Exhibition themes include Land and Sea, Clubs and Societies, Transport, and Childhood. A ‘reading table’ attracts regular visitors who can browse the historical and personal accounts of life in Aberaeron and merchandise is also on sale. Perhaps the most popular attraction is the display of over 4,000 photographs shown on a continual slide show, and the digital stories have fascinated our visitors. The photos, and many of the items on display, have been donated or loaned by local people, or those with connections to Aberaeron.
The Aberaeron Exhibition is a volunteer undertaking, assisted by the staff of Ceredigion Museum. It generally receives no special funding, and is self-supporting through donations and the sale of merchandise. It is planned, managed and stewarded entirely by volunteers.
The success of the Aberaeron Exhibition depends on the good will received from Tabernacle and Peniel chapels, local business, Cymdeithas members, volunteers and visitors.