'Spend, Spend, Spend’ exhibition comes to Castleford Library & Museum

18/09/2017, PR8652

A new exhibition has opened in Castleford Library & Museum, documenting the life of Vivian ‘Viv’ Nicholson, one of the town’s most famous women.

Keith and Vivian 'Viv' Nicholson with their cheque, Photo credit of 'The Football Pools'

Viv rose to fame when her husband, Keith, won over £152,000 on the Littlewoods Pools, the football betting game, in 1961. That's the equivalent of £3 million in today's money.

She became notorious after infamously declaring to the media that she planned to "spend, spend, spend" the money.

Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport
Cllr Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport

​The tragic story of her rags to riches and then to rags again life captured the public imagination and inspired a TV drama and stage shows. Viv also famously appeared on the now iconic cover of The Smiths' album, 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.'

Cllr Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council, said: "We're really proud that our district's museums are fun and vibrant places that tell the stories of both the distant past and much more recent history.

"This exhibition highlights the life one of Castleford's most well-known characters, who after the pools' win suddenly found herself in a whirlwind of media TV interviews and magazine articles. Come and see this portrait of a fascinating person and learn more about her extraordinary story."

The new exhibition showcases Viv's story and includes a variety of objects, from a pair of her leopard print shoes (loaned by her family), to the original script of the controversial BBC Play for Today (on loan from University of Sheffield), as well as original costumes from the musical, 'Spend Spend Spend!' loaned by West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Visitors can also see a replica of the Nicholsons' winning Pools coupon, courtesy of The Pools Company and National Museums Liverpool.

The exhibition is at the museum until December 31 and entry is free. For more information please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/museums

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