Milk Counter Pan

Milk counter pan (MERL 58/64)

Before refrigeration was widespread, this pan would have been used to hold milk which prospective customers could taste and buy. Counter pans were part of a reformation in the milk trade, as purchasing milk previously carried an element of risk (it was often contaminated or watered down). New milk shops had cows out the back to show […]

Splint Basket

Splint basket (MERL 91/38)

These splint baskets were highly popular in North Devon before World War 2. They were used for a wide variety of purposes, such as feeding cattle, and carrying apples and potatoes. This specific basket would not have used in the field. Instead, it was made and sold by Jack Rowsell, who made around 25 – […]

Friendly Society Polehead

Friendly society pole head (MERL 55/1180)

Likely created around 1800, this polehead belonged to the Patriotic Order of Oddfellows. The Order was a ‘Friendly Society’ which were initially formed to provide insurance in the case of sickness or death before government legislation improved in this area. The growth of Friendly Societies was a response to the Poor Law Amendment Act which placed responsibility […]

Canal hand bowl

Canal hand bowl (MERL 60/434)

This hand bowl, known also as a dipper, was painted by L. B. Faulkner of Canal Wharf Works at Linslade, at the workshop of the canal carrier. These sorts of painted utensils for use on canals were known as ‘bargee ware’. The bowl would have been used on a narrow boat to take water from […]

NUAW Banner

This was the first banner of the NUAW (National Union of Agricultural Workers) and was initially used in Norfolk. The banner was presented to the Union by Mrs Bridges Adams, a Londoner who became interested in farm workers and the Union’s activities. According to Messrs Tutills, the banner firm who repaired it sometime before 1961, it […]

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