Cheshire Military Museum in Castle Square, Chester has a new temporary exhibition looking at life surrounding the Officers’ Mess (and that of the Sergeants and Corporals too) which provides meals, recreational facilities and sometimes accommodation for officers in the armed forces.

The term ‘mess’ comes from an old meaning of mess, ‘food for one meal’ which outside the armed forces would be known as a canteen, buffet or cafeteria.

The new temporary exhibition at the Cheshire Military Museum looks at life within the Regimental Mess, where often ceremonial dinners and celebrations were held. At the Chester exhibition, around the Cheshire Regiment collection, you can find out what meals were served, what members wore and the types of entertainment on offer.

You can learn about the Regimental tradition of the Tappers Cup and the rules of the Mess.

Caroline Chamberlain, Curator at Chester Military Museum said; “The exhibition includes objects which are not usually displayed in the Museum including a number of caricatures of Cheshire Regiment Officers some from the late 19th century and others which are more recent.”

She added; “we have also designed the exhibition to be appealing for children as well as adults with special activities for them to do. Younger visitors can have their own (pretend) tea party, create their own menu for the day and identify the pickle spoon!”

What a Mess! runs until July and the Museum is open Thursday to Sundays, 11am to 4pm. last entry is at 3.30pm.