Monday, May 28, 2012

Dress to Impress!

Last week Nicola Townend, the manager of the Wakefield branch of Accessorize came to museum HQ (our stores) to help us put together a fashionable display of costume and accessories.

One of our new museum displays is called Dress to Impress and will use a piece of going out clothing to highlight Wakefield’s social scene at different times. The time periods will change over the coming years and to start it off Nicola picked out a nice frock from the 1820s – worn perhaps for a show at Wakefield Theatre, a dance at the new Music Saloon on Wood Street or maybe a wedding.
Nicola's chosen 1820s dress with padded hem
Nicola is very passionate about historic clothing, she makes her own Victorian style dresses and has a keen eye for historical detail.

Nicola choosing a butterfly hairpin
 (click on image to enlarge)

Nicola looking at accessories
 (click on image to enlarge)
Nicola said “I felt like I was putting a prom outfit together. It’s amazing that many of the accessories worn in the 1820s wouldn’t look out of place now.”

Matching shoes to the 1820s dress
(click on image to enlarge)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Historic Wakefield Photo Challenge!

We thought we would set you a challenge.

We received a collection of glass slide photographs a couple of years ago that were originally used by Sandal Endowed School. They show landmarks, landscapes and people in Sandal and Walton, (as well as a few other places) as they were around 100 years ago. You can see them all by clicking here.

Can you tell what they show, what places, what landmarks?

Start the debate, put your answers in as comments. We will post up the answers in a couple of weeks.

Some are easier than others, but there are one or two we don't know!

Good luck!

Mystery photos - what can you recognise?  Join the debate!  See them all here!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don’t Sweat! The Cribs are in Wakefield Museum, along with England cricket bats and groundbreaking record labels

Wakefield Museum celebrates indie band’s Wakefield beginnings.  The museum has acquired The Cribs first record “Baby Don’t Sweat”.  Recorded at Springtime Studios near Wakefield waterfront in 2002 the record is a reminder of the band’s formative years playing gigs at venues around Leeds and Wakefield before commercial success, Hollywood videos, Johnny Marr and international cult status.
The Cribs first single - Baby Don't Sweat - recorded in Wakefield
 The record was acquired by the Friends of Wakefield Art Galleries and Museums for Wakefield Museum and will be in the Welcome to Wakefield section of the new museum at Wakefield One.

The museum is looking to celebrate Wakefield’s musical history and it has also recently acquired material related to Holyground Records, an independent record label (possibly the first in England) which started off Kirkgate in the 1960s by the late Mike Levon.

Recorded and produced in Wakefield during the 1960s and 1970s!

The Friends of Wakefield Art Galleries and Museums have also acquired an England cricket bat for Wakefield Museum.  The bat was made by William Sykes Ltd of Horbury.  Sykes’ sporting goods were high quality and world renowned, making products which were used in test matches and cup finals.

The museum only has its collections thanks to the donations it has received from residents, members of the public and organisations like the Friends. We are always grateful.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update from the Museum Store

The conservation team continue to be busy cleaning and preparing objects for the new displays.  

Some objects are composite, meaning that they are made from more than one type of material.   

This bell is made from metal and leather.   Care is needed to ensure that the treatment given to one type of material doesn't cause a problem to the other type of material making up the object.
Cleaning Grain Wagon Bell - care must be taken not to get any metal polish on the leather strap
This bell announced the arrival of a grain wagon which travelled Wakefield’s streets collecting sacks of grain to take to the Soke Mill. 

Until the 1850s all grain in Wakefield had to be milled at the Soke Mill (the Kings Mill) which was down by Chantry bridge until the road bridge was built in the 1930s. If it was milled elsewhere a fine had to be paid to the Lord of the Manor. This was one of the many rights and privileges held by the Lord, who since medieval times controlled the courts and the official weights and measures used in the markets. 

It will be displayed in the Manor of Wakefield section of the new museum which looks at the ways that Wakefield has controlled our lives.