The Wombles have arrived at Lisburn Museum

December 15, 2020

In line with the relaxation of recent restrictions the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum has reopened. Visitors will have the chance to view the Museum’s latest acquisitions, including five handmade Wombles.

The Spence family purchased them in the early 1970s from local artist, the late Anna Cheyne RUA. 

Alderman Owen Gawith, one of the local Alliance elected members, speaking about the new additions, said: “The Wombles were hugely popular fictional creatures in the 1970s, and Anna used their fame to help support the Alliance Party in Lisburn in its early days.  The figures are made out of scrap material, and even part of a WWII RAF flight jacket.  The Spence family had attended a fundraising fete for the newly formed Alliance Party in Lisburn, which was held in the Secret Garden, a well-known local beauty spot behind the artist’s home on Railway Street.

“I am delighted to see the Wombles as items of historic interest on display in the Museum.  I am sure older generations will have stories to tell their children and grandchildren about The Wombles books and TV shows they used to enjoy.  The Wombles were known for their commitment to helping the environment; and some may say there is a correlation between their commitment and the role of elected representatives to enhance the council area.

“I understand the late Seamus Close OBE, who chaired the Lagan Branch of the Lisburn District Alliance Association in early 1973, hoped these figures would be preserved for future generations. I am pleased to say they have and will continue to as part of the Lisburn Museum’s collection.”

Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, Leisure & Community Development Chairman, speaking about the reopening of this historic facility, added: “The council would like to thank the Spence family for their generosity in donating these five Wombles to the museum.  We are delighted that after a period of closure our museum can reopen to let residents and shoppers view our exhibits and ‘The Wombles’.  The Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum will be open from 11.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Saturday so please call in and see us.”