Until recently, Stories From Scarborough was struggling to find information about the Millennium Museum, which operated opposite Scarborough Harbour between 1993 and 2001. You can read more about it on the links below:
The Mysterious Millennium Museum (brief history and introduction)
A Viking House in the Millennium Museum: Fact or Fiction? (Viking references in the museum)
Now, thanks to Leonie (who also shared this video of Atlantis), a much more complete picture of the attraction can be compiled. She has kindly uploaded a series of photographs and promotional material onto the brand new Stories From Scarborough Flickr Page.
If you are interested in uploading/donating material to this page, please comment below to receive more details.
Please do not reproduce the images in this post (or those on the aforementioned Flickr page) elsewhere without permission. You can, however, post links to this website, and to images on Flickr as long as the following credit is used:
All rights reserved by Stories From Scarborough
Stories From Scarborough pledges to protect the rights of those who kindly donate images, which involves ensuring that said images are not used inappropriately or without proper permission. If you want to use/re-post any of the project images directly, please get in touch, and the relevant contributor(s) will be consulted.
More information can be found by reading the Disclaimer Page.
Anyway, back to the Millennium Experience.
During its heyday in the 1990s, Millennium won several awards and was much praised by visitors. The promotional material depicts a thrilling attraction for all the family:
Above: Millennium Advert in a visitor guide from 1995 (source)
The museum marketed itself as a ‘time travel experience’ and was ambitious in its goal to represent all the many historical faces of Scarborough – some, such as the town’s supposed Viking origins, based more on speculation and popular myth than proven fact.
Above: More about Millennium from the 1995 guide (source)
On the top left you can just about see where Millennium was once located. Amusements now occupy the building that stands opposite Scarborough Harbour. On the bottom right you can see some of the many waxwork figures, designed to illustrate Scarborough’s former occupants, from famous monarchs to the everyday people who occupied the town during its days as a humble fishing village.
Above: A medieval banquet – reference perhaps to the town’s famous castle? (source)
Below: A creepy fortune teller? (source)
Prior to the popularisation of British seaside holiday during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, coastal economies primarily rested upon the fishing industry.
Above: A waxwork fish merchant (source)
Below: Another model, hard at work (source)
The Millennium Experience was no ordinary museum – seeking to emulate York’s successful Jorvik Centre, the attraction prioritised reconstructed scenes over relics in glass cases. It boldly sought to bring the history of Scarborough into one small building, mixing fact with supposition, and providing an engaging and imaginative experience of times gone by.
Above: A flyer including the Millennium ticket design (source)
Sadly, in spite of receiving praise from visitors, Millennium was short-lived; another victim of the town-wide cull of children’s attractions that occurred during the early to mid 2000s. Other victims of falling visitor numbers and struggling finances included Marvel’s, Kinderland and Atlantis.
The above images are just a small selection of materials from Leonie’s collection – more to come in subsequent posts.
All that remains is to say a huge thank you to Leonie, and indeed all those who have contributed memories so far. Without public contributions attractions such as the Millennium Experience risk slowly fading into obscurity. If you are reading this and remember a photograph, souvenir or even a memory that you may have stored away somewhere, please get in touch.
All submissions are treated with the utmost care – anything you submit can be removed at any time, and you retain full ownership of the material.