THE CHANGING nature of our leisure time will be explored in a new exhibition at the Dorset County Museum.

The Free Time exhibition at the Dorchester museum opens next month and takes a look at how pastimes have changed over the last 60 years.

The project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to capture and preserve the memories and stories of local people who used to, and still do, pursue hobbies that are no longer very common.

After the exhibition, which runs from February 15 to May 17, the archive will be stored at the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester for future generations to study.

Project leader Joe Stevens said: “When you look at old black and white photos or films it can look like a completely different age, but what we are hearing is that life today is not that different from times past.”

He added: “We are not just interested in people’s memories from long ago, but also the recent past.

“We are hoping to feature a range of stories from 1945, right up to the present day.”

The project has seen the Dorset County Museum and the History Centre working together to enable young people to collaborate and share with the older generation in a range of activities leading up to the exhibition itself.

Over recent weeks volunteers have been out in the community capturing local people’s leisure time memories in Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth, Portland and Sherborne.

The archive will be accompanied by a website and an app for a ‘Walking Museum’ around Dorchester. Contact the museum on 01305 262735 or visit