WAY back in 1974, a mammoth task was undertaken when one of the hidden gems of Worcester High Street, Steward's Chemist Shop, which stood opposite the Guildhall, was relocated lock, stock and many a bottle, half a mile across the city to the Art Gallery & Museum in Foregate Street.

Involved in the big move was museum curator Garston Philipps, who this year celebrates half a century working at the Art Gallery & Museum. In this momentous year the final piece of the Steward’s Chemist Shop jigsaw will be put in place as the Steward family has gifted to the museum the original lamp which hung outside the business.

The lamp has been donated by Malcolm Steward, the great grandson of John Alfred Steward, who in 1874 bought the chemist shop at 27, High Street, Worcester from Walter Woods. John Alfred continued to manage the chemist shop until handing over to his son Charles Alfred in 1905. During this period John Alfred was twice Mayor of Worcester in 1899 and again in 1901.

The business stayed in the family until it ceased in 1973 and its contents offered to the city, going on public display in the museum in 1978. Malcolm was given various items from the shop as souvenirs, including the large. but by then broken lamp which hung outside.

In 2018 Malcolm Steward approached the BBC TV programme The Repair Shop to repair the lamp to its former glory and subsequently he has donated the lamp for public display once more.

Garston Philipps said: “I was personally involved with relocating the chemist shop to the Art Gallery & Museum in 1974, so it is extremely pleasing to have the lamp given to us this year. We are very grateful to Malcom Steward and his family not only for the lamp but for entrusting the Museum with the chemist shop, enabling visitors to see this element of the city’s history which will have been a part of everyday life for many generations of Worcester residents. The intention is to display the lamp inside the Chemist Shop, so it can have pride of place once more.”

Steward's Chemist Shop is open for visitors to drop in between 11am and 3pm on the first Tuesday of every month. There is also a special behind-the-scenes talk about the shop on Friday, June 28 at 1pm. To book a place call 01905 25371 or email gallerymuseum@museumsworcestershire.org.uk