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My favourite OBJECT: A tour around the museum

As part of 50 Years and Beyond we have launched a Visitor and Member Challenge

This 5-minute challenge is for anyone with an interest in Chard, the Museum, or local history.. 

Here is the challenge... can you pick one memorable or your favourite item from our collection(s) and write a few sentences about that item, don't go crazy, remember it's a 5-minute challenge, but tell us: 

  • what is the item? what would you title it? is there a relevant date? and provide a brief description?, then ....

  • what is the significance of the item to you? Is there a story that you would want told to others about the item?

By item, it can be an image, physical artefact or even a local story you have heard. There are three examples at the end of this activity description

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When you have decided upon your
artefact then tell Us about IT
Stuart Artistic Sewing

Gerrie said that her favourite object in the Museum is the raised embroidery or stump work cushion up in the Gallery.  Although it is faded now, it must have been fabulous when first created.  The technique uses layers of stitches or padding (slips) to give the cushion a 3D effect.  Most popular from 1650 - 1700, raised embroidery was used to decorate clothes, wooden boxes and even curtains.  I love it because I know how difficult it is to do and I admire the person who spent many hours with a fine needle to produce it.

Victorian Girls Class Photograph

Gwyneth chose one of the school photos in our Victorian schoolroom. The picture shows a girls’ class with a young teacher and an older female teacher. When I have a schools visit I ask the children why I'm pretty sure that that older teacher isn't married. I then ask how many of their teachers are a Mrs. I then ask why this teacher isn't married and often get some amusing replies. It's usually mentioned that she's a bit ugly or that she looks grumpy!! However here is the real reason that she's unlikely to be married.

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Whites Fish and Chip Shop

Howard shares a story told it to him in the Museum. It relates to the take away that still operates on Boden Street. It has had a number of different owners. When the Americans arrived in Chard during World War 2  the troops were told by the then owners that they could not be served. The news spread among the American troops and fearing some form of anti-American activitiy their commanding officer went to the shop demanding an explanation. The response he got came as a surprise. The then owner, not surprisingly a Mr White, explained that the reason was simple. He did not have enough oil to fry fish and chips for the number of American soldiers. The next day, so it is said a lorry arrived from the American camp loaded with cooking oil. Hidden story or myth it highlights the experiences of locals after two years of war and the supplies that the Americans had at their disposal.

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Bronze Age Necklace

Angie says that the bead necklace was found with a burial urn and includes one blue bead amongst the brown, indicating that this woman had borne one child. The question is why only one child.? Did she die in childbirth or shortly after, was she very young or very old for child bearing, did she have problems with her pregnancies, was the time in which she lived a time of famine or war, was she killed or died before she could have more children or did her 'husband ' die and she refused all others.? Of course we shall never know, but this is what makes that small blue bead so important and intriguing, linking as it does, the lives of mothers across the ages.

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