Showing posts with label Bromley Museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bromley Museum. Show all posts

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Your Place at Bromley Museum

Local Museums tell local stories,
and what could be more local than objects from your own home.
Bromley Museum invite us to look at objects from homes in the 1930s through to the 1950s
and see how many we can identify from our own homes.

Not much guessing needed,
but a lovely look at design from different decades.

To help us connect with the past
(with the Twentieth century),
Bromley Museum has a gallery called 'Your Place'
where you might recognise a few things.

If you're too young to remember these particular objects,
you can definitely make comparisons with them as they exist today
and listen to your mum reminiscing about her own childhood
and what her grand-parents used to have.

 Particularly the polyester dressing gown,
which if you took it off in the dark,
lit up your bedroom with static in a sci-fi kind of way.
This also rang true for polyester jumpers from C&A.

My youngest two,
having just finished primary school only the week before,
completely got the vase with school leavers names on it.
For them it was a white T-shirt and fabric pens.
They all signed each other's T-shirt and wrote messages.

Memories are not all about objects.
Sometimes it's smells.
Clove oil, smelling salts, mint, lavender, coal-tar soap and baby powder.

We discussed smells we like;
"That pink cream, Germoline"
"Mowed grass"
"Warm just-photocopied paper"
"Damp towels"

The smell of "warm just photocopied paper" has probably got to wait a few more years 
before it becomes nostalgic.

Mind you, I was pleased to see that photocopying had been used by Bromley Museum
for all the best reasons.
"I bought that magazine when I was at school!" I exclaimed excitedly.
Three eleven year olds were totally nonplussed.

Bromley Museum invite you find out about some of its famous residents.

Charles Darwin.


Enid Blyton.

Imagine, exploring all this whilst dressed as a Saxon and a Tudor!

Sometimes we forget how far technology has come.

In 1708 Queen Anne passed a law saying that
each parish had to provide and maintain a fire-engine.
This is the "Squirt."
"But it's made of wood!?!"

The novelty value of dialing a telephone,
dressed as a Tudor in the Twenty-first century.

Bromley Museum is open Mondays to Saturdays,
closed for lunch each day between 12.30-1.30pm.

There's much more to see at Bromley Museum.
I haven't mentioned the displays from Pre-historic, Roman, Tudor, Saxon and Victorian times.
Visit and see for yourself. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bromley Museum: What the label doesn't tell you.

Local museums attract local people
and if you're really lucky you get to chat to them,
because they "pop in every now and then to see what has changed".
Who better to talk to about the objects in Bromley Museum
than the locals.

Whatever the labels say,
you can't beat hearing someones personal experience with objects in museums.
It's a bit like looking at laundry labels with all those washing symbols,
you sometimes learn more from personal experience,
surely you really don't have to hand wash?

Take the Victorian washing Dolly.
As Bromley Museum tells us,
"was still in use in some areas well into the 20th century".
 Well according to the couple I was chatting to,
it still is in use,
in the 21st century.

Her: "Our neighbour in her early 80s still uses one of those for her sheets."
Him: "Mind you he might be doing it now because she's not so good on her feet."

I was full of admiration for their neighbour,
I can hardly keep up with washing our family's bedding
with a fully automatic washing machine,
and I'm half her age.

The Mangle, 1910.
Not immediately obvious as to what it is when you have been born in the 21st century.
"An iron?"
"Something you use to dry things?"

They had deduced that it was to help with the laundry...
...but no-one could have guessed that the mangle meant status.

"You used to show off if you had a mangle.
If you were rich you had a mangle,
you'd go to school and tell everyone, 'we've got a mangle'.
We might have lived in a council house in Green Street Green,
but we were rich because we had a mangle."
Her mother's mangle was scrubbed weekly to keep those rollers spotless
and the pressing saved on ironing.

"See, I was right, it was to do with ironing."
That put me in my place.

Bromley Museum is open Mondays to Saturdays,
closed for lunch each day between 12.30-1.30pm.

Nowadays the laundry can be done at the same time as visiting a museum.
If you put on a load before you leave the house,
it might be ready to hang out when you get home.
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