Festival of Punch

Cover of Punch, 'The Festival of Punch: 1851-1951', 30 April 1951, featuring comical take on Abram Games' Festival of Britain logo

Punch, ‘The Festival of Punch: 1851-1951’, 30 April 1951 Punch, or the London Charivari was a long-running satirical magazine, which poked fun at contemporary society and culture. The cover of this issue offered an amusing take on the famous Festival of Britain logo, with Britannia’s head replaced by the features of Punch. With its roots […]

Time to take CARE

Learn about our focus for 2022: highlighting how we take care of rural heritage, the countryside’s future, and each other.

Tropical Teaching

Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture: Silver Jubilee 1951 (London: ICTA, 1951)

Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture: Silver Jubilee 1951 (London: ICTA, 1951) The Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) was founded in St. Augustine, Trinidad, in 1921. This booklet was published in 1951 to celebrate twenty five years since its establishment. Trinidad remained part of the British West Indies for the entire first quarter century of […]

The history of the servants’ ball

The servants’ ball has had a long tradition in the country house estates of Britain and only really died out after the Second World War.

Festival Landscapes

Peter Shepheard, Landscape design sketchbook, 1951 This sketchbook belonged to architect, planner, and landscape architect Peter Shepheard and dates to January to March 1951. During this time he was working on final plans for the South Bank Exhibition site of the Festival of Britain. His contribution included designing garden-type zones in association with the main […]

In Your Garden

Front cover of Vita Sackville-West, In Your Garden (London: Michael Joseph, 1951)

Vita Sackville-West, In Your Garden (London: Michael Joseph, 1951) The writer and poet Vita Sackville-West was an influential voice in mid-century rural life. In 1939, the seeds of an idea began to germinate and she grew keen to establish a ‘White Garden’ in the grounds of her Sissinghurst home. These creative plans were interrupted by […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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