Sudbury Hall NT

Sudbury Hall NT Blog

Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

A doll of a Chinese lady
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669882

A doll of a Chinese man
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661400

A photo of Chinese children in Chinese dress
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/668203

A chinese dragonfly kite
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/665013

An automaton of a smoking Chinaman
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/664221

 

 

 

 

A.A. Milne

Today is the 132nd birthday of A.A. Milne, author of the world-famous Winnie the Pooh books!

A.A. Milne
Source: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2013/01/18/%E2%80%9Cthings-grown-ups-talk-about%E2%80%9D/

 

Alan Alexander Milne was born on 18th January 1882 in Kilburn,London. He went to Henley House School where he was taught by author H.G. Wells, and who went on to be “a great writer and a great friend” in Milne’s own words.

Milne was Assistant Editor of punch magazine until the First World War when he joined the army. His literary career really got started after the war.

Milne wrote a great many novels and plays, but his most famous works were his Children’s books about The Bear of Very Little Brain, Winnie the Pooh. These books were inspired by his son, Christopher Robin, who featured in the stories. The stories tell the tale of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore the donkey, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. The first Pooh book, Winnie the Pooh was published in 1926. This was followed by Now We Are Six in 1927, and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928.

Winnie the Pooh with his friends
Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/128558/Pixar-gets-animated-over-Winnie-the-Pooh

An original illistration of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet
Source: http://walterhunt.com/blog/?p=450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winnie the Pooh has remained a firm favourite with young and old alike right to this day. The books have been published around the world and translated into many different languages. Walt Disney’s adaptations of the stories have also helped to ensure the continued popularity of Winnie the Pooh and all his friends!

Disney’s version of Winnie the Pooh and his friends
Source: http://theroaringtwentieshistory.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/winnie-pooh.html

 

Here are a few of the Winnie the Pooh objects that we have in our collection here at the Museum of Childhood.

Inside ‘Now We Are Six’

A Winnie the Pooh teddy
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662517

A pencil case with Eeyore on the side
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662563

 (Information sourced from: http://www.poohcorner.com/Alan-Alexander-Milne-Author.html, http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81466.A_A_Milne, http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/, http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/yr/minisites/winniethepooh/characters.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnie_the_Pooh_(Disney) )

 

 

St Andrew’s Day

Today is St Andrew’s Day, patron saint of Scotland!

 

St Andrew has been the patron saint of Scotland since 1320. He was a Galilean fisherman working in the Black Sea before he, and his brother Simon Peter (St Peter), became disciples of Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the Romans on an X-shaped cross, which has inspired Scotland’s national flag of a white X on a blue background, known as the St Andrew’s flag. St Andrew is also the patron saint of Romania, Greece, Russia and Barbados. His patronage extends to fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to become mothers.

 

To celebrate St Andrew’s Day, here are a few of the Scottish inspired objects in our collection.

A tinplate clockwork toy of a Scottish piper
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/659994

A toy Scottish Terrier
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669676

A costume doll of Mary Queen of Scots made by Peggy Nisbet
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661187

R.Bell & Co’s Scottish Bluebell Matches
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669667

A Royal Bank of Scotland piggy bank
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/665076

A bisque-headed male doll in Scottish costume
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/659609 

 

 

And finally….

The St Andrew’s Day Google Doodle!

(Information sourced from:

http://www.scotland.org/celebrate-scotland/st-andrews-day/who-is-st-andrew)

 

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis, author of the famous Chronicles of Narnia books, was born on this day, 29th November, in 1898. A few days ago, on the 22nd November, it was the 50th anniversary of his death, 22nd November 1962 – the same day that J.F. Kennedy was assassinated.

 

C.S. Lewis was a writer and a university professor, teaching at first Oxford, and then Cambridge. As well as his famous Narnia stories for children, Lewis also wrote books for adults, about literature, religion and science fiction.

 

C.S. Lewis’s full name was Clive Staples Lewis, but to his family he was known as ‘Jack’. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was educated in both England and Northern Ireland, before studying at Oxford University. At the age of 19 he became a soldier in World War I, fighting inFrance.

C.S. Lewis wrote many of his more serious books first, writing The Chronicles of Narnia later in life. While teaching in oxford, one of his friends was J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.

 

Having been brought up a Christian, C.S. Lewis became an atheist as a teenager, but returned to Christianity at the age of 33. Many of his books were based on religion, including The Chronicles of Narnia. He started writing the Narnia books in 1939 when three evacuees came to stay with him during World War II. The first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was published in 1950, followed by six more books until The Last Battle was published in 1956.

 

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are still hugely popular today and have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into more than 45 languages. So far, three of the books have been turned into major motion pictures, increasing their popularity yet further.

The movie of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Image from: http://fromscreentowords.wordpress.com/tag/the-chronicles-of-narnia/

The movie of Prince Caspian
Image from: http://cost-of-discipleship.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/new-narnia.html

The movie of THe Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Image from: http://teaser-trailer.com/movie/narnia-3/

 

Here are a few of the objects in our collection which relate to the Chronicles of Narnia.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Inside the book of The Magician’s Nephew

Inside the book of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

A marionette of a faun from the Lilliput Marionette Theatre. He might have been Mr Tumnus from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661561

Inside the book of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Another look inside the book of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

A Catalan translation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

So, have you read any of the Narnia books? Which was your favourite?

(Information sourced from:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/cs_lewis/ https://www.cslewis.com/uk/about-cs-lewis)

 

 

Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary

Tomorrow, 23rd November, is the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who!

See it online here:
http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662362

 

 First aired on BBC One at 5.15pm on Saturday 23rd November 1963, Doctor Who has been honoured by Guinness World Records as both the longest running and most successful science-fiction series in the world.

Created as an educational family show to fit between the football results and evening entertainment programmes, Doctor Who was the brainchild of Canadian TV producer and BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman.

After an initial run of 26 years, the series was rested. It returned for a one-off TV movie featuring the Eighth Doctor in 1996. Doctor Who was fully resurrected in 2005 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

To celebrate this landmark anniversary, the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, is being shown in cinemas around the country (in 3D no less!), at the same time as being broadcast simultaneously in 84 countries around the world!

To mark the occasion in our own way, here at the Museum of Childhood, we have set up a display devoted to Doctor Who and his companions. This display contains models, toys, books and memorabilia spanning the (re)generations (sorry!) of Doctor Who, some donated to the museum, as well as artefacts on loan to us from private collectors.

 

 

 

 

For those of you who aren’t able to come and browse the display yourself, here are a few of the Doctor Who artefacts that we have in our museum collection. 

 

The Doctor himself, as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy.

See it online here:
http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662416

 

K9, The Doctor’s robot dog companion.

See it online here:
http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662415

 

A CD of the Dr Who story ’The Stone Rose’ read by David Tennant.

See it online here:
http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662414

 

Finally, a Dalek! 

See it online here:
http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662414

 

(Information sourced from: http://www.doctorwho.tv/50-years/ , http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/524154/20131121/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-matt-smith-david.html & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/doctor-who/10463866/Doctor-Who-50th-anniversary-Mastermind-nerd-off.html )

 

 

Halloween

 The seasons are changing and autumn is upon us. That can mean only one thing…Halloween!

Autumnal Sudbury
Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobybarnes/3019021478/in/photostream/

 

To fit in with the Halloween season, I thought I’d show you some of the spookier objects in our collection!

A toy bat
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/667091

 

We’ve got a lovely collection of witches, from dolls to marionettes. Some are a lot creepier than others!

A witch marionette from the Lilliput Marionette Theatre
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661551

A witch marionette from the Lilliput Marionette Theatre
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661581

A witch puppet
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/662387

A witch doll
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669778

A witch doll made of maize
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669779

A witch doll
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669782

A witch doll
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/669783

 

We can’t have witches without the witch’s trusty companion: the black cat!

A Steiff soft toy black cat
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/663494

A clockwork black cat
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/663488

A clockwork cat
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/660224

This is a creepy looking soft toy cat!
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/664770

 

We’ve also got a couple of ghosts haunting our collection…

A ghost marionette from the Lilliput Marionette Theatre
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661587

A ghost marionette from the Lilliput Marionette Theatre
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661589

 

How would you feel to find this snake creeping up on you?

A wooden snake
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/664632

 

Or this spider?

A wooden spider from a set of Noah’s Ark animals
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/664095

 

Finally, it wouldn’t be Halloween without a pumpkin!

A theatre programme in the shape of a pumpkin
See it online here: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/666783

 

 

Hidden volunteers

Everyone knows that the National Trust is reliant on the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who act as room guides in all our properties across the country. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the National Trust is also supported by a great many additional volunteers who help us with a vast miscellany of tasks, from helping in the gardens, assisting with education activities and serving customers in the shops and tea rooms, to lending a hand with the care, conservation and documentation of our precious collections!

As an example of this, I thought I’d show you the range of volunteers we have just within our Collections Team here at Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood.

First of all we have Liz. Liz has recently graduated from her post-graduate qualification inArtGalleryand Museum Studies and is now searching for a collections-based job within the museums and heritage sector. Liz is working on our collections database, Collections Management System, helping with the transfer from our previous collections database, Modes for Windows. She is editing each record, ensuring that the information has transferred across correctly. Her work than feeds into the National Trust Collections website, which updates with the corrections she has made, ensuring that you (‘the public’) can see all the information about our wonderful collection. Liz has also helped us out with other collections activities such as undertaking condition checks on a collection of marionettes, handling and moving some of our objects in and out of storage, scanning photographs from our collection, and assisting when we have an expert in to undertake a peer review of an aspect of our collection. Volunteering with a historic collection is an excellent way of gaining valuable work experience, practical skills and knowledge while searching for that all important first collections job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we have Chris. Chris is also a recent graduate. He has also been seeking employment within the heritage sector. Chris is not afraid to get stuck into anything, and has been helping out in shop and hall, as well as helping us in the Collections Department. Within Collections, Chris has been working on making ‘flip books’ for the museum containing additional information about all of the objects that we have on display. With limited space on display case labels, these are a valuable way to provide extra information for our most engaged visitors, ensuring that they get the most out of their visit to the museum. Of the back of his volunteering, Chris now has a part-time job at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, but he still finds time to come back and volunteer with us from time-to-time!

Chris dressed up as Sir Joseph Wright as part of his work at Derby Museum and Art Gallery!

 

We also have a small team of photography volunteers. This team grows and shrinks over time, but at present we have two dedicated photographers; Sue and Steve. Sue and Steve are contributing to the improvement of our collections database by photographing the objects in our collection that do not already have a photo, or which only have a photo of poor quality (prior to the easy availability of digital cameras, photography was a much more protracted and expensive process, which has led to some of the deficiencies in our photographs of objects). You can also appreciate their photographic efforts as the photos also appear on our National Trust Collections website (http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/search/highlights/National-Trust-Museum-of-Childhood,-Derbyshire-%28Accredited-Museum%29/1)! Sue and Steve work up in the attics of the Hall, where our collection is stored, so that they can easily access the objects that need to be photographed. We have set up lighting and a photography cube as a portable ‘studio’ for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we have Brian. Brian is in charge of updating the collections database for the Hall’s collections (while the rest of us work on the (much larger!) museum collection. Brian is retired, and has been working with the collection for many, many years. He has even been awarded an MBE for his services to volunteering! As well as volunteering with us, Brian also volunteers as a room guide in the Hall, and volunteers with the National Trust collections at Norbury Manor and Calke Abbey. I think that MBE is well deserved!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, for anyone out there who has been put off from volunteering for the National Trust by the prospect of standing in one room for hours on end, do get in touch with your local properties and find out what volunteering opportunities they have on offer. Whether it’s gardening, working with children or caring for precious collections that rocks your world, there’s bound to be a role out there that is perfect for you!

 

 

Hanging on a Wire – The Lilliput Marionettes

This week we have been editing records on a rather wonderful collection of puppets, or marionettes. They were all part of the ‘Lilliput Marionette’ Theatre’ that toured around the Midlands schools in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and we think they are too interesting not to share.

The company formed when a group of five non-professional puppeteers set up a touring company at the beginning of World War II.  Bernard Lewis (later the director of the company) met Edward Hellawell (the maker of the puppets) in Wormwood Scrubs when they were serving time as conscientious objectors. It is understood, from cast recollections, that other like minded pacifists joined the group and they began touring. The company toured much of the Midlands, mainly appearing in schools, from their base in Wolverhampton, and a review from the ‘Hampshire Chronicle’  and ‘Isle of Wight Press’ suggests they also had successes further afield.

Some of the plays they performed included ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Faust’. The puppets themselves range from this rather adorable rabbit from Hansel and Gretal;

Rabbit from Hansel and Gretel

Rabbit from Hansel and Gretel

To the slightly scarier looking characters from Faust such as Mephistopholes; 

Marrionette from Faust

Marrionette from Faust

 

 

Do you remember the ‘Lilliput Marionette Theatre Company’ coming to your school ? There is still so much we don’t know about these amazing puppets and we would love to know more. Have a look at the collection and see if you can help us out, or simply have a browse. Just click on the link, and search for ‘Lilliput Marionette’ in our collection.

  laura

 

Sindy’s 50th Anniversary

Did you know that 2013 is Sindy’s 50th Anniversary? To celebrate we, at the Museum of Childhood, have filled a display case in the museum with Sindy related artefacts from our collection.

The Sindy display case

 

Taking pride of place within the case is Sindy’s townhouse. This large, three-storey house, complete with roof terrace, spiral staircase and lift, is made of cardboard and plastic and was completely dismantled. Without any instructions to follow, it took our Collections Team some time to build!       

All the pieces!

     

 

 

 

 

Inserting the spiral staircase

 

Manoeuvring the house into the case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admiring our handiwork

The house is complete!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sindy’s bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

The large amount of Sindy furniture in the collection has come in useful when furnishing the house. Check out Sindy’s collection of clothing in her bedroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She even has a car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a horse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of these artefacts would normally be packed away in storage, so do take the opportunity to come and visit the Museum of Childhood to see this lovely collection, or visit National Trust Collections online at: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/ to browse our collection of Sindy artefacts from the comfort of your home!

 

Hello Dolly!

This week it’s all about dolls. Here in the Documentation Department we have been editing away at the collection records, and we are in the middle of a large collection of ‘Peggy Nisbet’ dolls. These are all costume dolls, dressed as various historical figures, popular characters and famous people. In the collection here at the National Trust Museum of Childhood we have a wonderful selection of everything from Queen Victoria to Mary Poppins.

Just one of the sets of dolls in the collection is ‘Henry VIII and his Six Wives’. Here is the beautiful Jane Seymour, said to have been Henry’s true love, because he chose to be buried with her when he died.

http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/661178

Those pessamists amongst you might point out that he didn’t have much choice, with two wives still living, two buried unceremoniously with no heads, and one buried abroad!

Another doll that has featured highly in our week is the eponymous Sindy! This weekend sees Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood open up again on Saturday the 16th for the season. We have been helping Sue, one of the Collections Assistants’, put together a Sindy doll’s house ready for one of the displays.  Here are a few pictures of Rose (and Sue) putting the finishing touches onto the roof terrace :

Do you remember wanting one of these as a child, or even better being lucky enough to have owned one?

Is is a space ship, is it a plane …?

… no it’s the Sindy staircase of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as a little nod to it being Valentine’s Day, even the collections online website is feeling all loved up today : http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/

 

Laura

 

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