Will Hertfordshire’s object of the year be a scone, monkey or toilet cream?
- Credit: Archant
Museums across the county have nominated their Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 Museum Object of the Year – which include a toy monkey, an old scone and some toilet cream.
During September the public will be asked to vote for their favourite object, nominated by 13 of the county’s museums.
Nominations include a 105-year-old scone made in Harpenden, the Mill Green Mill, located between WGC and Hatfield and Letchworth-based Garden City Collection’s Nuciline Theatrical Toilet Cream.
Other entries include Stevenage Museum’s handmade dolls’ house, St Albans South’s signal box with Lever Frame, North Hertfordshire Museum’s Record Peter and Speedy Steven – which are monkeys on bicycles – and Hitchin-based British Schools Museum’s Victorian spiky toy from the Jill Grey collection.
Some entries are topical and in line with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plagued this year.
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A straw plaiting peg doll demonstrates that working at home was the norm in much of the county in 1851 and theatrical cream made in Letchworth has been nominated to demonstrate solidarity with theatres across the county in these difficult times.
St Albans Museums have also put forward a placard from a recent Black Lives Matter protest in the city.
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Other museums may have taken note of the success of previous winners, such as in 2018 when Watford Museum’s ‘Charlie the Chimp’, a mechanical toy which had pride of place in a Watford shoe shop for many years.
Last year, the crown was awarded to an 86-year-old toilet roll from the Garden City Collection. It was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemist E.E Russell, who ran a chemists on Station Road from 1911 - and it is considered to be the oldest surviving toilet roll in Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, libraries and localism Cllr Terry Douris, said: “It’s great to see such a variety of objects nominated for the Hertfordshire Year of Culture Museum Object of the Year Award and a wonderful way for people to find out about some of Hertfordshire’s excellent museums and what they have to offer.”
Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, September 27 here hertfordshiremuseums.org.uk/object-of-the-year-2020.aspx.