Stories & Objects shared at Bassetlaw Museum

Stories & Objects shared at Bassetlaw Museum

A fascinating collection of personal treasures and the stories that bring them to life are being shared by local people as part of Bassetlaw Museum’s latest exhibition - ‘I remember when..’.

The collection is part of an exciting project called ‘Stories and Objects’, where a collective of 12 Bassetlaw residents have been given the keys to the museum’s display cases and encouraged to share the objects they hold most dear, and for the first time, share the stories of what makes them so special.

The exhibition features an eclectic mixture of objects that range from match day programmes for Retford Town Football Club to a Marmalade machine; and a battalion of origami tanks to a miniature toy steam engine. All of which are accompanied by atmospheric black and white portraits of the exhibitors by award winning photographer, Nicola Davison-Reed.

The latter object has a heart-warming tale, told by George Bennett, who was given the steam engine as a Christmas present by his father in 1945. George’s father drove a corn threshing steam engine and set up the toy engine just like his own.

“What a working model of a toy this was. Lucky lad I was!” said George who has had the steam engine in his possession for at least 73 years and has ensured it survived at least three occasions of moving house.

“Years later, I remember when my youngest son saw it, when he was possibly 4 or 5 years old (now he’s 47), and he said, ‘Let’s get it going Dad’. We did and what a joy to see his face when it started up.”

Planning for ‘I remember when..’ started in the summer with a series of workshops where Bassetlaw residents were asked to share their untold experiences and memories.

Joan Turner, another participant of the exhibition, said: “Being part of an exhibition is a great experience. Everyone has stories which others can relate to. It has been an honour to share memories with the group and ultimately with the wider community. We visit museums wherever we go and this exhibition is as good as any we have seen. It is a reflection of the life of ordinary people in the 20th century.”

The wider ‘Stories and Objects’ project has been run in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, in addition to Ruddington Village Museum. 

Neville Stankley, Principle Lecturer at Nottingham University, added: “Often museum displays or ‘exhibitions’ are designed by staff, but this project reversed that process by supporting local people to curate their own unique museum exhibitions featuring their own personal objects. These objects might not be rare, valuable or old, could’ve been passed down through generations or be quite recent, they may be unusual or have roots in diverse cultures – whatever their origin all the objects have their own story.”

The “I Remember When… Stories and Objects” exhibit is being displayed at Bassetlaw Museum, up until Saturday 23rd November. You can find Bassetlaw Museum, and the brand new Pilgrims Gallery, at 40 Grove Street, Retford. The Museum is open between Monday and Saturday 10am – 4:30pm and admission is free.

Bassetlaw Museum would like to thank all of the following people for being part of this special exhibition: Sean Bendell-Whittaker, George Bennett, Hilary Bennett, Judith Goodall, Averil Gyles, George Gyles, Gee La Banca, Liz Meacher, Kevin Murphy, Diane Murphy, Jim Simpson, Joan Turner.

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Last Updated on Thursday, December 19, 2019