Monday, June 30, 2014

George Kellett's World War One Diary: June 1918

Throughout 2014 we will be tweeting entries from a World War 1 soldier’s 1918 diary. You can follow George Kellett’s diary entries on Twitter @WW1_Diary.

We will also post the full month’s diary entries on this blog.

For George Kellett's May diary entries please see our previous blog: May 1918

4 June 1918
Received a parcel from home with 2/6 enclosed

6 June 1918
Had football and sports with the inspection for a 10fr prize per man y company took all the prizes

7 June 1918
Left the Rest camp for the line again arrived just to the right of Monchy

11 June 1918
Went out to work at 5pm arrived back at midnight.  Right of Douchy

14 June 1918
Received 5/- PO from John Edward
No. 8F8 450778

15 June 1918
Up in the assembly trench making Lewis Gun Posts.  Went into Douchy looking for timber.  Found a pamphlet dropped by a balloon.

16 June 1918
Inspection at 5:30pm. Went to work in new trench at 9pm on the right of Douchy got back to camp at 2:30am

17 June 1918
Inspection at 5:30pm parade for work at 9pm.  Digging new trench task? work 8ft wide, 6ft long and 3ft deep, to be 5ft 3” at the bottom.  Had a very quiet night

18 June 1918
Inspection at 2:30pm.  Went to the range at 4pm
Night in tonight.  Received a parcel from home with 2/6 enclosed

19 June 1918
Inspection at 5:30pm parade for work at 9pm.  Digging new trench Jerry put the wind up us with some new shells which none of us had heard before.

22 June 1918
Day off work today

23 June 1918
Work at 3am in new communication trench.  Inspection at 5:30pm

24 June 1918
Went up to work at 3am in new CT. Back in camp  at 9am. Inspection at 4pm light marching orders

25 June 1918
Went to rifle range at 3:45pm 1hours drill before dinner. Went up the line at 9pm laying trench boards in new communication trench

26 June 1918
Work at 12noon got back to camp at 6:30

27 June 1918
Wrote to father, Mrs Warters and Harry. Sent a field card to Ada. Orders to be ready to move at 10am. Orders just cancelled and to parade for inspection at 11:45am.  Work at 10pm: widening trench in front of windmill in which [?] 2 hours walk

28 June 1918
Arrived back in camp about 6am Revitt and I are orderlies today.  Received a letter and photo from Pam and a letter from father. Sent Gran envelope to Pam. Out to work at 10pm

29 June 1918
Arrived back in camp about 6am.  Went to the range at 4pm.  Inspection at 8:15pm night in tonight. Received a letter from Pam

30 June 1918
Sweating on the CO [?] inspecting no 6 platoon.  Breakfast 8am then cleaning up in case the inspection does come off.  Wrote to Pam and to Annie at South Kirby.  Paid 40fr today.  Daily Inspection at 5:30pm

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Style Picks - Paper Dolls

A new temporary exhibition opens at Wakefield Museum on Saturday 28 June.  Style Picks showcases the museum's historic costume collection. The display is a colourful celebration of women's wear trends from 1730 to today.

Whilst researching the museum collections for the exhibition we found some fantastic paper doll postcards from the 1920s:








These paper dolls inspired our own version using costume from the collection:






If you would like to have a go at our special paper doll, come along to the exhibition and pick a copy up.

Style Picks runs from 28 June 2014 to 31 January 2015.  Free admission, open during Museum opening times.

This exhibition was funded with support from Arts Council England



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Local pupils get involved!

Pupils from South Parade Primary School recently visited Wakefield Museum to help staff develop a new family digitrail for the Museum.


Pupils became curators, as they learned how to handle, and how to investigate museum objects - what stories can they tell?



They chose and photographed their favourite objects on display in the museum (and had fun in the gallery at the same time!), before researching them in the library upstairs.




Both online research and the reference library helped the pupils to write a short script to accompany their pictures.  

Then it got technical!  The pupils used an iPad app to create short slideshows of the visit - choosing images to upload, recording audio and editing them both together! 

The final digitrail will be in Wakefield Museum from Saturday 19th July

They are free to use, see a member of the museum staff to show you how to use them.



“I just wanted to say thank you very much for today ,it was really excellent. The children had so much fun and they produced  a huge amount of high quality work.”

“I want to come here on my birthday”

“This place has some awesome stuff!”

“I really liked the wedding dress. I didn’t know they weren’t always white”




We run digital sessions, including simple animation and film-making for schools and for families during school holidays.  See our sister blog for more details!



Monday, June 16, 2014

Style Picks - Guest Curators

Style Picks opens on 28 June 2014 , this exhibition will be a magnificent celebration of our beautiful costume collections.



Four guest curators have raided Wakefield Museums’ wardrobe to create a rainbow of women’s wear trends, from the 1730s to today.


Here they explain, in their own words, what has inspired their interest in clothes, shoes and accessories.

Karen Noden

Hoops A Daisy was founded in 1987 when my Mum made the hooped petticoats to go under my wedding dress and the dresses of my 5 bridesmaids. She was then asked by friends and family to make hoops for their weddings. She hit on the idea of hiring out the hoops and named the business Hoops A Daisy. From there she gradually built up the business working from home and eventually moved into the shop in 1989. Although I worked for Barclays Bank for 17 years, I was involved in helping Mum from the start and I bought the business when she retired in 1999. Since then I have continued to expand, so that as well as everything for the Bride and Bridesmaid we now stock Special Occasionwear and Promwear. I am proud to say that we have won several awards, last year we won the ‘Best Specialist Retailer’ award and were runners up in the Best Customer Service category of the Wakefield Retail Awards.

I have always been interested in history and a few years ago I helped to stage a show of historical wedding dresses for charity. We held it at Wakefield Cathedral which was a very appropriate setting as we had replicas of many Royal wedding gowns in the show. In the 27 years I have been involved with the Bridal Industry it has been fascinating to see so many fashions come and go. My own favourite style of dress would have to be a full skirted gown made of many layers of tulle which gives a floaty, romantic look and flatters most figures. I also love crystal beading and I always appreciate good workmanship in the boning and seaming details. My favourite fabric is Mikado Satin which is probably the polar opposite of Tulle but it is a very classic fabric and looks amazing on a slim fitting, plain dress. The workmanship when using Mikado has to be superb as the cut, stitching and seams are very noticeable.

The current trend for lace dresses shows no sign of waning but the corset style bodice is definitely giving way to button backs and the most popular style of dress at the moment is the ‘mermaid’ or ‘fishtail’ style. Colour is becoming more popular with soft pinks and gold but Ivory is still the choice of most Brides.

Debbie Lough

Deborah Lough trained in millinery at Leeds College of Art, graduating in the summer of 2013.

She designs and makes modern head wear for men and women. Her style leans towards restrained simplicity, or pared back elegance, but on occasion she does give vent to her wilder side, and produces experimental, or avant garde pieces.  What one of her friends referred to as 'weird hats'!

Debbie's designs are inspired by many things - the world around her, architecture, art, history, film, even music, but her love of art deco is a recurring theme.

She designs two small couture collections per year, plus one bridal couture collection, as well as a number of limited edition pieces, and while she's happy to produce any piece from a collection to order, these are often the starting point for bespoke commissions.  Debbie is happy to discuss one-off pieces, either face to face, or long distance.
Debbie is also about to introduce her diffusion collection (including a bridal range), 4B by Deborah Walton

Thanks to a minor obsession with the history of fashion, (and her background as an historical costumer), Debbie also makes historical / theatrical headgear from any period of history, for men and women.

Most of Debbie's hats and headpieces are hand made in her studio, in Yorkshire.  Few of them go near even a sewing machine, let alone a factory.  Like her couture work, Debbie's 'diffusion' collections are designed and assembled 'in-house', at her studio, although some from pre-made components.

Debbie's journey with a needle began a long time before she began making hats, though.  She started out on a council estate in Whitley Bay, in the north east of England, closer to the Scottish border than to London (it took her until she was 17 to get there for the first time).  As an inquisitive little girl being brought up by her grandmother, she wanted to know "WHY?" about everything (Debbie, not her grandmother, that is).  Slightly worryingly for her Nana, the specific 'why' that she wanted to know most about was to do with fingers and sockets.  So when most kids her age were watching The Flumps, she picked up her first needle and started making things, under the careful guidance of her Nana, who had trained in tailoring in the 1930s.  The most common phrase for some years became 'it's not straight, do it again'!
Fast forward a few years, to an equally inquisitive ten year old, with a set of sewing skills, and a low boredom threshold.  Debbie decided to learn about more than just the sewing of garments, and found a book in the local library (where she spent lots of time), in Monkseaton, all about pattern cutting (this was 'Metric Pattern Cutting', that she later used at university).
Shortly after that Debbie designed her first dress, for a Blue peter competition - she didn't get anywhere, but the design bug bit.

Since then, Debbie has designed and made all sorts of pieces, including historical costumes and wedding dresses, flags and embroidery, which have been seen on UK and US television, as well as at some prestigious locations (such as Eltham Palace, The Tower of London, and Apsley House (aka Number One, London), among many others).  

In 2011, she decided to apply to go back to school to learn how to make hats, at Leeds College of Art, got an interview, and was offered a place on the spot.   Two years later, she completed her course, gaining the highest grade possible, a distinction.

Nicola Townend

I have always been interested in fashion and sewing since school. I had an inspirational teacher, who gave me the tools and confidence to try and recreate any look that I wanted.

It was the late 80s and Victoriana, with its high necks and it’s leg of Mutton sleeves were all the fashion. Vivian Westwood’s collections borrowed heavily from the historical styles she found in the London Museums. I couldn’t afford a Vivian Westwood corset, so I made one and I still continue to make my own clothes today.

Four years ago I discovered Steampunk and burlesque and the fashions which went along with it. Initially my outfits utilised purchased corsets, but it wasn’t very long before the urge to be different soon took over and I rediscovered corset making, creating my own corsets from historical and modern patterns.

The urge to create my own steampunk outfits drew me to look more closely at Victorian fashions and their construction and a chance to see the gems the museum collection held was not to be passed up on.

Ian Harvey

Mr. Ian Harvey gained his Batchelor in Science Degree in Podiatry (Honours) at the Huddersfield University School of Podiatry in 1999, and after graduating from Huddersfield, he worked with the Leeds Community and Mental Health Trust.  Here he helped patients with a wide variety of podiatric complaints, including chiropody, podiatric biomechanics and nail surgery. He was one of the founder members of the trust’s Biomechanics Group.

Ian left to set up his own practice in 2003 in Wakefield. His highly professional podiatry clinic, “FIT-FEET”, offers a comprehensive range of podiatric services, including Podiatric Biomechanical assessments and treatments, chiropody and nail surgery.

In 2013, Ian successfully completed his Masters Degree in Science (Clinical Podiatric Biomechanics) with Staffordshire University.

Ian has a particular interest in chronic (long term) pain, disability and instability in the feet and legs. He has successfully restored comfort and function to many people with the use of mobilisation techniques, exercises, acupuncture and foot orthoses. His Master’s Degree research was into improvement of stability in older people who suffer from falls.

Thank you 

We would like to say a huge thanks to our guest curators who have provided a fascinating insight into our costume collections.  We hope you enjoy their selections and comments on the objects they have chosen for display.





Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup: Wakefield's football heritage!

In case you haven't noticed...the World Cup starts today!

Despite the fact that Wakefield is the biggest city in England that does not have a football league team, the Wakefield District boasts some historic football heroes. 

Here are a few footballing objects from our collections ...

A 1930s postcard of  goalkeeper Harold Gough from Castleford.  Harold played for England in 1921.


Essential footballing kit dating from 1930s - 1960s.


Castleford Football Club photographed in 1884.  The team colours have been hand-painted on. 



Prefer to stay at home and play? Spectrum computer game, 1985, and some Subbuteo game pieces, 1967 - 1970.



Photograph of the Kings Own Light Yorkshire Infantry football team, 1914 - 1918


Who'd have thought liquorice and football had links?

A Dunhill's sweet tin, 1920 - 1935.

Haribo football sweets, made in Pontefract, 2002


Sheet of cigarette type cards printed with names of football teams, made to be distributed with liquorice, 1932.

Photograph of a football game outside Fryston Colliery, by Ferry Fryston miner and photographer, Jack Hulme, 1960 - 1970.



Enjoy the World Cup!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New exhibition coming soon to Wakefield Museum

A new exhibition opens at Wakefield Museum on Saturday 28 June.

'Style Picks' will be a magnificent celebration of our costume collection.


Four guest curators have raided Wakefield Museums’ wardrobe to create a rainbow of women’s wear trends, from 1730 to today.


In this colourful exhibition step into the pages of a glossy fashion magazine and enjoy stunning hats, shoes, dresses , accessories and corsets!

Here is a sneak peak at some of the costume that will be on display.

Stunning shoes:






Amazing accessories



Gorgeous gowns



Adorable underwear



To see these objects in full, and many other beautiful costumes, visit the exhibition from 28 June.

Free entry, during museum opening hours.

This exhibition has been funded by:


Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day landings, Wakefield, George Kellett & Peggy Taylor

6 June is the 70th anniversary of the World War II Normandy landings, known as D-Day.

Despite being far from the action Wakefield played a crucial role in the success of the operation.  Some of the landing craft used were built in Wakefield.  The Landing Craft Assaults were made at Joinery & Shop fitters company Drake & Warters Ltd in 1943.

The first LCA to be made at the factory was the 1144.  This is an image of it being launched:


For more information about the Drake & Warters involvement in the production of the LACs see: Drake & Warter's article

The company employed 800 girls to enable them to meet the order.  A British Pathe newsreel survives that shows the factory and introduces some of the workers  Landing Craft Assault film



One of the girls working at the factory and who features in the newsreel was Peggy Taylor, a former cinema usherette.  Wakefield Museums would love to know if Peggy Taylor or her family are still living in Wakefield.  If you think you know Peggy then please contact the Museums at museums@wakefield.gov.uk .

Another of the company’s employees was George Kellett.  Throughout 2014 Wakefield Museum has been tweeting entries from George Kellett’s World War 1 1918 diary @WW1_Diary.  At the time the landing craft were being produced George worked at Drake and Warters, he would have been around 50.

George Kellett was a trusted and longstanding employee and is mentioned in a Wakefield Express newspaper article dating from April 1950, celebrating the firms Silver Jubilee:


Most of the people working there are local and many have been there since its formation.  “They are the people that made the business” says Mr Drake.  Six of them, Fred Mundy, George Kellett, Joseph Trantor, Ernest Blakey, John Beck and Edwin Thresh were presented with silver tankards…The firm’s employees are proud of their efforts in the Second World War… These included the building of 72 invasion craft in as many weeks

This is an image of Drake & Warters staff from around 1930 - we believe that George Kellett is on the middle row, eighth in from the left.




Monday, June 2, 2014

George Kellett's World War One Diary: May 1918

Throughout 2014 we will be tweeting entries from a World War 1 soldier’s 1918 diary. You can follow George Kellett’s diary entries on Twitter @WW1_Diary.


We will also post the full month’s diary entries on this blog.

For George Kellett's March diary entries please see our previous blog: April 1918

Thursday 2 May 1918
Received a parcel from home

Friday 3 May 1918
Received a parcel from Pam

Thursday 9 May 1918
Pay day today

Monday 13 May 1918
Received a parcel from home today with parkin and buns and brown teacakes.  It was allright there was also a tin of Rowntrees Chocolates

Thursday 23 May
Received a parcel from home with 1/- enclosed in letter