Black Eyes and Lemonade

Cover of exhibition catalogue for Black Eyes and Lemonade (GREAT EXHIBITION--12/06)

Exhibition catalogue, Black Eyes and Lemonade, 1951 This catalogue listed the contents of a quietly influential exhibition held as part of the Festival of Britain. An eclectic range of items were assembled by artist and author Barbara Jones, the creative force behind the show. The displays made a powerful statement about the importance and vitality […]

Biscuit Tin

Biscuit tin, Huntley & Palmers, 1951–1952 (REDMG 1992.2.384)

Biscuit tin, Huntley and Palmers, 1951–1952 This biscuit tin is part of the Huntley & Palmer Collection at Reading Museum. It features a watercolour of the historic Yarn Market at Dunster, Somerset. This slice of ‘olde England’ was much visited by holiday makers to the nearby seaside resort of Minehead prior to the Second World […]

Cotswold Tradition

Exhibition catalogue, The Cotswold Tradition, 1951 This catalogue reveals that some of the many objects given to The MERL by writer H. J. Massingham in early 1951 were almost immediately sent on loan to an exhibition at Cirencester Park. This display was part of a significant regional strand of the Festival of Britain and was […]

Apple Store

Still showing sorting and grading, as taken from colour film, The Storage of Apples, 1951 (MERL TR MAFF PH6/73)

Colour film, Storage of Apples, 1951 This film was made in 1951, and was sponsored and distributed by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. It was designed as an instructional film to inform producers of methods of apple storage, as a way of meeting demand out of season. Footage covers apple pickers, winter orchards, […]

Sutton’s Seeds Sign

Sutton & Sons Ltd plaque showing the location of the company’s office in Calcutta (Kolkata), India (MERL 2019/50).

Sutton & Sons Ltd, Indian branch office sign, circa 1950s In the nineteenth century, Reading was home to several major industries. Sutton & Sons Ltd grew from a local shop into a global firm. In 1912 they established an India branch in Russell Street, Calcutta, from which they developed and grew seeds for both the […]

Women’s Institute

Pinkneys Green Women’s Institute Banner, circa 1951 (MERL 2007/48/1-2)

Pinkneys Green WI, Women’s Institute Banner, circa 1951 The National Federation of Women’s Institutes was established in 1915. Since that time it has come to play a significant role in the social, cultural, political, and creative life of rural England. This striking textile banner was hand-stitched by members of the Pinkneys Green WI in around […]

51 Voices: A growing understanding

This January, The MERL embarked on 51 Voices, a new year-long project celebrating the museum’s seventieth anniversary in 2021. Throughout the year, we will be working with a range of writers, artists and different communities to give contemporary voice to fifty-one objects and archives in The MERL collection connected in myriad ways to our founding year. […]

Buildings Of England

Nikolaus Pevsner, Cornwall (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1951) Published in 1951, Cornwall was the first of The Buildings of England series. It would eventually cover the whole country and reach a total of 46 volumes, standing as a classic and widely-acclaimed interpretation of the the architectural and cultural history of the counties. The series drew to a close in […]

National Parks

Cover of Ministry of Town and Country Planning, National Parks and Access to the Countryside (London: HMSO, 1950) (MERL LIBRARY PAMPHLET 2860 BOX 07/05)

Ministry of Town and Country Planning, National Parks and Access to the Countryside (London: HMSO, 1950) This booklet was published in 1950 in advance of the establishment of the first National Parks in 1951. It indicated where the proposed parks were to be located when they came into being. Through a combination of striking wood […]

Great Inventions

Title page of Marie Neurath and Joseph Lauwerys, The first great inventions (Max Parrish, 1951) (University Special Collections)

Marie Neurath and Joseph Lauwerys, The first great inventions (Max Parrish, 1951) This children’s book was designed using a graphic tool called the isotype to tell the story of human innovations. Isotypes are a style of visual device used to communicate complex ideas in clear and simple ways. The illustrator of this volume, Marie Neurath, […]

  • Visit us

    Visit Us

    We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The MERL galleries from Tuesday 18th May.

    Free admission. Please book a timed slot.

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

    Book now