Being creative is what we do best and ‘The way we were’ exhibition, Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster, has given us the opportunity to be creative in a big way. This former ‘foot eating fish shop’ has been transformed in to a place of colourful nostalgia that’s proving to be a bit of a talking point.

The exhibition covers the experiences of the children of the ‘Windrush Generation’, who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a great insight in to what this generation experienced and how they juggled growing up in a changing world with Caribbean family values. The walk through experience has a mock-up of a typical front room, a taboo place for the kids. Every day items and clothing from the 70’s and 80’s are on display together with a speaker unit that use to fill the Blues Clubs with a wall of music. There’s also an audio experience from members of the group.

Originally the exhibition was going to be a couple of display panels and cabinets within the Frenchgate centre. But covid cancelled the original launch date and Santa decided that he wanted that area, so the group was offered this shop. The original display was just quotations and a map of the Caribbean, but the shop needed more content to fill the space, so we outlined other areas that could help create a story and after tweaks from the client, the final message took shape.

The shop before we started to build the display.

FCD created the layout, designed the graphics and over a couple of days, built the exhibition using timber, pvc exhibition panels, and because the client wanted to re-use certain graphic displays, we’ve hung weighted banners that really look the part when up and when not in use, will roll up to store. Other areas have had the 70’s and Caribbean treatment. The shops counter has been transformed in to a DJ booth covered in Caribbean flags, the old ‘fishy foot eating fish tank’ has been filled with multicoloured table tennis balls and we’ve used the old 70’s string curtains to add dimension to the display.

The transformation after we’d finished.

It hasn’t been plain sailing though. Due to the Covid situation we had to plan how the exhibition could be a safe environment to visit. The central display area allows people to walk around the exhibition while keeping socially distanced. To make sure visitors get the message we’ve funked up the covid floor and wall graphics, using pac man and disco divas making the graphics fit the theme.

Funked up covid instructions, keeps the 70’s theme going.

If you remember the 70’s and 80’s, pop down, you might see stuff you remember. If you wasn’t there, check out this time of change and find out why ‘the front room’ was out of bounds.

The exhibition runs from 4th October to 12th November, Monday to Saturday, 2pm til 5pm.