Smiles of a clown as Dalston museum relocates

Clowns’ Gallery 3 Oct 2014 © David Altheer
Clowns’ Gallery 3 Oct 2014 © David Altheer
Eggheads: registered make-up of clowns

BEWARE BUCKETS of water falling on you as you push the door: the dinkiest museum in northeast London is reopening.

Having been in limbo for a few years after it lost its space in a church, the Clowns’ Gallery has been given new premises in Holy Trinity, Dalston, by the vicar, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

Next month, November 2014, it will be relaunched in all its quaintness, a touching celebration of the art of bumbling about in oversize shoes, silly red noses and over-the-top make-up.

The tiny rooms house pictures of great clowns, artefacts, including eggs marked with performers’ makeup, and the costume of Coco (Nicolai Poliakoff, 1900-1974), whose name is almost a synonym for clowning. As you can judge from the main picture here, Tony Eldridge, left, Mattie Faint and Ian Thom, of Clowns International, the charity that runs the gallery, are immensely proud of setting up their delicate and treasured exhibits again, saying: “This brightly lit room now glitters like a jewel box.”

Hey, careful with those scissors: the official reopening
Hey, careful with those scissors

The world-famous annual clowns’ service has also been given new premises by the Rev Rose, after disclosures by Loving Dalston. The next, February 2015, service will be in Holy Trinity’s sister church, All Saints, a few hundred metres south, at Haggerston E8 4EZ.

David Altheer 061014

* The Clowns’ Gallery will reopen (picture, left) to the public on Friday 7 November 2014 from noon to 5.30pm and then on the first Friday of every month noon-5.30pm. Access via the church rear entrance in Cumberland Close, parallel to Beechwood Road, E8 3DY. Free. Disabled access difficult.

* More clown history can be seen at Wookey Hole Visitor Centre, Wookey, Wells, Somerset BA5 1BB. Free.

* Backstory: Clowns service in Dalston savedSend out the clowns and Let’s talk bishops, says Rev Rose

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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