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Volunteering

Elle - museum volunteer

Elle

Volunteer

I volunteered in Community History for 3 years. As a volunteer, one of my favourite jobs was opening boxes. I volunteered at the museum for over 3 years and repacked the objects stored in Hollytrees Museum, one box at a time.

There’s a huge range of objects in the museum’s stores – from the everyday to the precious and I never knew what I was going to find. Take a look at some of the objects which I helped to document…

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

When I unwrapped the tissue paper from around this statue, I couldn’t work out what it was that I liked about the guardian angel and the sleeping children. I’m not certain I like the colours the statue is painted and I’m not a fan of ornaments.

And then it hit me. What I like about this statue is that it isn’t what it looks like but how it made me feel. The guardian angel offering protection and the blissful faces on the children made me happy. I like to think that this object connects me to all the other people that interacted with it – giving me a real link with people in history.

Ceramic Cat

Ceramic Cat

I thought I’d seen it all, but then I found this…I was so excited by my discovery, I showed everyone.

This is described in the museum’s records as “China cat. Seated, white with grey markings. Mouth open and used as a pin-cushion. Eight pins.” I’m not quite sure that this description does this kitty justice.

Every object has its own history, sometimes we are lucky enough to know the story but often we can only wonder. Did this object sit unloved on a shelf for years or was it treasured keepsake? Maybe some objects have more interesting stories than others, but each is unique and amazing in its own way.

As I pack the little cat pincushion away in tissue paper I’d like to think it’s more than an odd novelty – could it be the key to a wonderful story?

Truncheon

Truncheon

Well, well, well – what do we have here then?

This truncheon is one of a selection that I used in my first museum display and because of this it will always be special to me.

I was delighted when I found boxes of colourful truncheons hidden away in the museum’s store. They are so different when compared with the dull, black truncheons modern police officers carry.

I did a little bit of research and discovered that the bright designs had a purpose. Before identification cards police officers would paint their truncheons to mark them as uniquely theirs. Often these designs would include a royal crest to show authority, their initials and a date.

I was completely charmed by this story and it got me thinking…museums keep a treasure trove of objects safe but in amongst the tissue paper and boxes are hundreds of thousands of stories. These tales include everything from lost loves to mysterious murders – and everything in-between!

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