Podcast -100 Years, 100 Objects: Stories from the Collections of Lancaster City Museums
Podcast -100 Years, 100 Objects: Stories from the Collections of Lancaster City Museums
2023 marks the centenary of the Lancaster City Museums’ collection.
Members of our museum team, academics, and members of community groups have selected their favourite 100 objects from our collection of over 50,000. They join Collections Registrar Rachel Roberts and Museum Assistant Millie Welbourne to discuss what is so special about our collections.
Join us as our objects take us back in time and forward to the future, and from Lancashire to outer space. In each episode discover the fascinating stories behind our objects and explore what they can tell us about the present and beyond. Each week we will look at 2 new objects in the 100 Years, 100 Objects podcast.
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WATERCOLOUR BY ROBERT RAMPLING
AN INDENTURE FOR MARGARET BIRD
ROMAN WALL PLASTER
A SEWARD TOKEN
In the first episode, we look at one of our founding objects, the history of our collection, and of museums in our society with Collections Registrar Rachel Roberts.
We delve into the history of one young girl in 1848 with guest speaker Naomi Parsons. A fascinating story that takes us into the mills of Caton.
Guest speaker Dot Boughton discusses the history of the Roman Bath House in Lancaster and how archaeologists work to piece together stories from history.
Join us for a discussion with Lancaster City Museum Manager Charlotte Appley to look at a small object with a big story to tell about commerce, advertising, and enterprising Georgian merchants.
LANCASTER DELFTWARE POTTERY SHERDS
TAKE ME DOWN TO MORECAMBE ONE STEP
Join us for a wander through history as we talk to Gordon Clark about this beautiful and intricate map from 1778.
In this episode, we speak to the aptly named Dr Colin Penny about a Roman Coin and the fascinating life of the emperor depicted on it.
We’re putting the pieces of history together as Dr. Matthew Hobson and Barbara Blenkinship talk to us about the Delftware Pottery which operated on St George’s Quay in the 18th Century.
In this episode, we chat with Peter Wade who tells us all about the Take Me Down To Morecambe One Step and the Morecambe music scene in the 1920s.
LILE SHIP MODEL
THE INSUS TOMBSTONE
NEAR WRAY BY HURST BALMFORD
RICHARD OWEN LETTER
Get on board for this episode where we talk to Henry Holborn about an intricate and beautiful ship model and the touching story of Belgian refugees in Lancaster, Morecambe, and the surrounding area in the First World War.
Dr Stephen Bull introduces the tombstone of a cavalry soldier named Insus Vodullius. Hear about Roman Lancaster, the sort of people who lived in the area, and how much fascinating archaeological finds like this can tell us.
In this episode, we’re taking time to appreciate the natural world with Ann-Marie Michel who discusses the painting Near Wray by Hurst Balmford with us. We meander through art history, local history, and what the natural world can mean to us, to fully appreciate this beautiful work.
In this episode, we welcome back Naomi Parsons, who talks to us about one of the most famous Lancastrians, Richard Owen, who cared about sanitation and water supply as well as dinosaurs, and was at the forefront of revolutionising Lancaster’s health in the 19th Century.
JOHN OF GAUNT BY FRED KIRK SHAW
THE MOURHOLME RING
1920s MORECAMBE HOLIDAY GUIDE
GOLD CAP BADGE
Find out how John of Gaunt could ride through Lancaster in both the 14th Century and the 19th Century. We speak to Dr Mike Winstanley about Lancaster myth and pageantry spanning centuries.
Join us as we speak to Charlotte Appley, Museum Manager, about the Mourholme Ring. This tiny object tells us about a medieval Lancashire connected to the world, where the wealthy could own luxuries like beautiful jewellery like this.
We are joined by Dr Liz Brewster, Senior Lecturer in Medicine, to look at this bright and inviting holiday guide from the 1920s. We chat about how Morecambe advertised itself as a health resort, despite having a very different reputation in the 18th Century, and the health challenges that are faced in Morecambe today.
What would the well-dressed 16th Century man be sporting on his cap when he wanted to impress? Join us when we talk to Dot Boughton to find out. This beautiful golden badge can tell us, not just about fashion, but about the places that a medieval nobleman might visit, and the messages they wanted to send with how they dressed.
BRONZE AGE AXE HEAD
CROMWELL CINEMA PROGRAMME
PRISONER OF WAR GAMES COMPENDIUM
Let’s take a walk through Roman Lancaster. Join us as we chat with Gordon Clark about Roman roads and how they created a vast and well-signposted network across the country.
We head back to the Bronze Age in this episode as we talk to Alex Hale about an axe head which is just one part of the wonderful Scotforth Hoard. Find out how people lived in the Lancaster area around 3,000 years ago.
Come out with us to the pictures. Professor Bruce Bennett talks about this Lancaster cinema programme from the 1920s. What films were people watching and where? He will tell us about the unusual claims of the proprietors that they were helping keep people alive.
We talk with Andrew White, former head of museums in Lancaster, about one of his favourite objects in the collection, a beautiful games compendium made by prisoners of war held at Lancaster Castle.
IRISH ELK ANTLERS
KLUDONOMETRIC TIDE TABLES
T.D. SMITH SHOP SIGN
Come with us on a trip through the undergrowth of Lancashire about 11,000 years ago, to find out about this fascinating animal with Dr Chris Donaldson. Find out more about the world it lived in, and the people it might have encountered.
We talk to Professor Catherine Walshe about this card, which signified the presence of Diphtheria in Lancaster in the 1930s. We discuss how the disease spread, how people coped with it, and the parallels that can be drawn with the COVID pandemic.
Join us as we speak to Professor Michaela Benson about the mysterious world of Kludonometrics. We chat about its fascinating inventor, Captain William Greenwood, and the people that he took to a new life in New Zealand as a ship’s captain.
Come in and browse our wares as we talk to Dr Mike Winstanley about T.D. Smith, one of the most iconic grocers in Lancaster’s History. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the ups and downs of Victorian shopkeeping.
ROMAN INSCRIPTION STONE
We investigate the darker side of Lancaster’s past with Dr. Colin Penny, Museum Manager at Lancaster Castle, as we focus on a document that details the expenses for an execution at Lancaster Castle in 1834.
We’re marching back to Roman Lancaster again as we chat with Dr. Eleri Cousins about an intriguing Roman inscription that tells us as much through what it doesn’t say, as through what it does.
A simple, everyday object, with a much more complex history than you might think. Join us as we chat to Jack Knight about forks, food and table manners in Georgian Britain.
We chat with Professor Julia Gillen about the social media of the Edwardian age. Millions of people used postcards to send images and messages multiple times a day in what became referred to as a ‘craze’. We delve into the story behind this fascinating card, and others like it.
MURDERERBUCK RUXTON’S DIARY
FUNERAL BISCUIT LEAFLET
SEAMAN’S SIXPENCE LOGBOOK
We talk to Mel Cookson-Carter, Museum Manager at Lancaster Maritime Museum, about one of the darkest stories in Lancaster’s history, the murder of Isabella Ruxton and Mary Rogerson in 1935. We discuss the case and how we relate to the museum objects that come from such sad stories.
We look at the Victorian custom of funeral biscuits and what it can tell us about how they related to death. Dr Amy Gadoud from Lancaster University joins us to talk about palliative care and how our modern relationship with the end of life has changed.
We talk to Andrew White about what a Georgian sailor could do to help protect himself in the event of an accident or injury at sea. We dive into the history of this early insurance scheme and find out a little more about life onboard a ship.
Witches, ghouls, ghosts and goblins join us for this podcast as we chat with Alys Rouncefield about a simple object which has a magical history, a hag stone.
PORTRAIT OF JOHN DALTON
Today we’re going from Lancaster to the stars. We speak with Dr Julie Wardlow from Lancaster University about the fascinating story behind this telescope, which was once a feature of Williamson Park.
Come with us back to the stone age to find out about life in Lancashire when it was a very different place. City Museum Site Supervisor Richard Whittaker shows us why this is one of his favourite objects and what it can tell us about the distant past.
Today we’re looking at the history of one of Lancaster’s most powerful families, who left their mark on the architecture and names in the City. Join us as we chat to James Houghton about the Daltons.
A beautiful and still slightly mysterious device is at the centre of this episode. We speak to Dr Maria Walach to find out more about how it was used to predict the tides and re-visit a figure who has appeared in our podcast before…its creator, Captain William Nelson Greenwood.
PHOENIX FOUNDRY WORKS PHOTO
Join us for dinner as we speak to Dr Mike Winstanley about this beautiful object which served up Lancaster on a plate for anyone who wished to buy it. Find out when, how and why plates like this were made.
We speak to Dr Joe Kinrade about this simple but essential navigation device, find out how it works, and how we have evolved from this to modern GPS being involved in everything from finding our way to making payments to drilling for resources on the ocean floor.
We’re finding out more about the Phoenix Foundry, which used to stand on Phoenix Street. What did they make? Who owned it? And who worked there? Find out all this and more as we speak to Emma Coffey about this little-known industry from the centre of Lancaster.
Join us as we chat to Dr Karen Wright about medicines of the past and how the uses, and reputation, of different drugs have changed over the years. Find out why someone would put cocaine in their eye, and what the future is for medicines derived from cannabis.
LANCASTER CASTLE KEY
CHI RHO LAMP
AUBURN BY WILLIAM WOODHOUSE
We’re unlocking the history of one of Lancaster’s most iconic buildings, Lancaster Castle. Join us as we talk to Graham Kemp, former Assistant Keeper at the Castle, to find out more about why there is a castle in Lancaster, what it has been used for, and how it became a wonderful tourist attraction for the area.
We chat with Peter Wade to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Lancastrian who invented the word ‘dinosaur’…Richard Owen.
Join us as we chat to Dr Eleri Cousins about this Roman object, which is just as important for the community stories that have grown up around it as it is for its historical story.
William Woodhouse was a prominent local artist who painted the natural world and the spaces around him. We speak to Paul Thompson to find out more about this fascinating figure.
ROMAN DOG TILE
EDMONDSON’S TICKET PRINTING MACHINE
BURROW BECK PHOTOGRAPH
Find out how animals have managed to leave their imprint on our history, as we examine this Roman tile which features a dog’s paw print. We speak to Harvey Fox about ancient pottery making in Quernmore and how Romans interacted with and loved, their dogs.
All aboard to find out how a Lancastrian changed the face of rail travel forever. We speak to Museum Manager Rachael Bowers about Thomas Edmondson and his revolutionary invention.
If you love local history, and trains, this is just the ticket. We’re shining a light on another aspect of local history in this episode where we talk to Victoria Petherick-Brian, Museum Assistant at Lancaster City Museums, about one of her favourite objects, a lighthouse reflector.
Why not stream a podcast about streams? In this episode, we talk to Professor Bronislaw Szerszynski about the history of Burrow Beck and the other streams that flow, or used to flow, through Lancaster.
LANCASTER GAZETTEER FIRST EDITION
MORRIS DANCER PANEL
We’ve got a hot episode for you today as we speak to James Houghton about our fire engine and find out all about this early life-saving device and how firefighting was organised (or perhaps disorganised!) 250 years ago.
We are already half of the way there with our 100 podcasts!
We’re joined by Dr Alexander Scott from the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool to discuss an envelope used to advocate for the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and Lancaster’s involvement in this trade.
Read all about it! We’re chatting to Rebekah Musk, a PhD student at Lancaster University to get the scoop on The Lancaster Gazetteer and General Advertiser, Lancaster’s first newspaper that launched in 1801.
Come with us as we lead you on a merry dance through history. Our object today is this beautifully carved panel which shows an early image of morris dancers. Join us as we talk to Andy Hornby and Bob Tyson who provide us with the stories, and the sounds, behind this object.
BOAR TUSK PENDANT
SUFFRAGETTE HUNGER STRIKE MEDAL
PRISONER OF WAR CARVED BONE
We’re getting stylish, stone age style as we’re joined by Claire Bradshaw, the archaeology and heritage officer for the Morecambe Bay Partnership to discuss this fascinating pendant worn by someone in the Warton area over 5,000 years ago.
Today’s episode looks at the suffragettes and how their actions helped them gain the right to vote for women in the UK. Rachael Bowers, Museum Manager at Lancaster City Museum tells us about this hunger strike medal and the amazing woman that owned it.
We chat to Dr Alejandra Zarate Potes from Lancaster University about a little gem in our collection, or should that be germ? This fascinating nursing notebook used by a student at the Storey Institute in the 1880s can tell us a story about how medical knowledge evolved, and a golden age of discovery that helped save thousands of lives.
A fascinating and beautiful object takes us into the Caton Road Internment Camp during the First World War in this episode. We talk to Professor Corinna Peniston-Bird from Lancaster University to find out more about the camp and its inmates, whose stories are often forgotten.
10th CENTURY COMB
POWER STATION PADLOCK
Dress up in style and get out your top hat for this episode, where we talk to Christine Workman and Emma Holborn about the little-known hat-making industry that thrived in the village of Wray for decades.
We’re doing our hair Viking style in this episode. Join us as we speak with Adam Parsons of Oxford Archaeology to get the low down on the cutting-edge styles of the 10th Century, when a comb was just a tool, but a fashion accessory.
This episode should prove to be electrifying! We speak to Professor Gordon Walker about this ceremonial padlock which was used at the opening of the Caton Road Generating Station at a time when Lancaster produced its own power at a site that still has ramifications for how we get our electricity today.
We delve into the world of medieval religion in today’s episode as Christopher Tinmouth takes a look at this medieval crucifix to find out what it might have meant to the person who once owned it, and how religion in Lancaster has changed over the centuries.
WARTON HOARD DIRHAM
DODSHON FOSTER’S DIARY
THOMAS HUTTON RAWLINSON PORTRAIT
We’re digging up information on a coin that traveled far across Viking Europe to end up in a hoard in Warton. Join us as we talk to archaeologist Dr Tom Horne to find out about Vikings, trading, and buried treasure.
In this episode we speak to Ann Morgan about Dodshon Foster, one of Lancaster’s most prolific slave traders, but also perhaps surprisingly, a Quaker. We look at the history of one man to explore how commerce, morality, and religion intersected in Georgian Lancaster.
We’re pursuing a national pastime in this episode, talking about the weather! We chat with Dr Emma Eastoe from Lancaster University to find out more about the weather station which used to house this sunshine recorder in Morecambe and how measuring the weather today is crucial for adapting to the future.
In this episode, we talk with Melinda Elder to clear up a case of mistaken identity. Join us to find out more about the life of Thomas Hutton Rawlinson, a Georgian merchant from a prominent local family.
VICTORIA WOOD PHOTOGRAPH
SAM THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPH OF WILLIAM TOWNLEY
LABOUR DEMONSTRATION POSTCARD
We’re hunting down the history of stone age Lancashire to find out how people in prehistory used the materials around them to create this tiny but beautiful arrowhead, and how these objects survive to give a glimpse into lives lived thousands of years ago.
Today’s object is a snapshot of northern comedy, a portrait of Victoria Wood by photographer Andy Holligworth. We delve into the life and magic of this well-known and much-loved local figure.
We’re viewing history through the photographer’s lens again in this episode as we talk to Dr Patricia Prieto-Blanco about photographer Sam Thompson. We discuss his love for photography, the people he photographed, and his relationship with fishermen like William Townley.
Come back with us to 1906, and walk with the working people of Lancaster as we chat to Professor Imogen Tyler about this postcard which shows a labour demonstration in Dalton Square. Find out about unions, working conditions, and Williamson’s ‘War on Workers’.
SUN GODS PHOTOGRAPH
MARKET PEOPLE CROSSING LANCASTER SANDS BY DAVID COX
GRAND THEATRE PHOTOGRAPH
WATERCOLOUR OF HEYSHAM AND THE STORY OF IBO BOY
A photograph from 1930s Morecambe leads to a discussion about sun tanning and health. We talk to Professor Sarah Allinson to find out more about the risks of sun exposure and how attitudes have changed towards tanning since this photograph was taken.
We’re tracing a dangerous journey across the sands of Morecambe Bay in this episode to find out why people took this treacherous route for hundreds of years. Antoni Konieczny tells us about this beautiful painting and some of the sad stories behind this perilous journey.
We’re off to the theatre in today’s episode. Join us to find out more about one of Lancaster’s most prominent Georgian buildings as we speak to Adrian Taylor from the Grand Theatre and learn about the history both on and off stage.
Today’s episode delves into the little-known history of the enslaved people in small communities around the Lancaster and Morecambe area. Professor Alan Rice tells us about once such person who lived in Heysham in the 1760s and escaped from slavery.
CHATSWORTH LOG BOOK
LEAD FLAX SEAL
SUPER SWIMMING STADIUM MODEL
CANAL SUBSCRIPTION BOOK
Come on board with us in this episode where we look at the logbook from the ship Chatsworth with Dr John Worthington. We delve into the health of the sailors on board and take a look at some of the diseases and parasites they would have to deal with in 1783.
In today’s episode we’re following an object from Russia to Lancaster, and finally to the fields of Bentham. Emma Holborn tells us about this tiny lead flax seal which can shine a light on one of the biggest imports to Georgian Lancaster.
Can you believe that we are 3/4 of the way there with our 100 podcasts!
Dive into the history of one of Morecambe’s most iconic buildings with us in this episode as we talk to Barry and Lesley Guise about the Super Swimming Stadium, home of the Aqua Loonies, Aqua Lovelies, and Miss Great Britain between the 1930s and 1970s.
We speak to Bill Froggatt from the Canal and River Trust to find out more about the history of Lancaster Canal, starting with this fascinating notebook from 1792, which lists the names of the people who bought shares in the new canal venture.
SILVER SEAL MATRIX
CHINA LANE PHOTOGRAPH
9th CENTURY MOUNT
NICHOLSONS SHIPBUILDER’S STENCIL
In this episode, we find out more about this fascinating object which was only recently discovered by a local metal detectorist: a silver seal matrix, which depicts an enslaved African person. We find out more about this object and the sort of people in Lancaster and the surrounding area that might have owned it.
Come with us on a journey down one of Lancaster’s most notorious streets, China Lane. Find out if it really deserved this reputation, and who the real people were behind this street which was given such a bad reputation by local newspapers.
This episode takes us into one of the least-understood centuries in the history of the Northwest. We talk to Carolyn Dalton, Museums Development Manager, about this beautiful but enigmatic silver mount which is part of a jigsaw of rare finds that are all we have to piece together the early medieval history of this area.
Hop on board for this episode to find out more about the history of ship building in Glasson Dock. We chat to Alex Pomeroy to find out more about this lost business which made and repaired dozens of ships at the heart of the community.
REMBRANDT INTAGLIO PRINT
HORNBY CASTLE PRINT
ROMAN SURGICAL FORCEPS
DANIEL ECCLESTONE’S GEORGE WASHINGTON MEDAL
In today’s episode, we’re diving into the chaos of Georgian politics through this print created by the Lancaster-based Rembrandt Intaglio Company. Find out not only how Lancaster was the site of an innovation in printing, but also how to survive the ‘treating’, bribery, and out right riots of an election in the 18th Century.
How is the Lune Valley connected to Richard III, the Gunpowder Plot, 600 gallons of beer, and 40 large cheeses? The answer lies in Hornby Castle. Join us as we explore the centuries of fascinating history behind this beautiful building in today’s episode.
We’re heading into Roman Britain and into the bodies of some ancient Romans as we talk to Bryan Rhodes about these Roman surgical forceps. What did the Romans believe about the human body and what can rare objects like this one tell us about what a Roman would face on the operating table over 1,500 years ago?
What connects a Lancaster merchant and the first President of the United States? More than you might think! In this episode, we speak to Dr Mark McLay to find out about two radical figures separated by an ocean but connected by ideas, and one rather impressive medal.
JOHN WALKER PHOTOGRAPH
JOHN LAWSON TOKEN
DICKENS COMMEMORATIVE BOOKLET
WILLIAMSON’S RULE BOARD
In today’s episode, we’re examining Sunderland Point through the photographer’s lens. We delve into the photographs, and the life, of John Walker, who created a fascinating archive of local views in the late nineteenth and early Twentieth Century.
In this episode, we get a taste of the not-so-sweet history of sugar and a merchant who imported it into Lancaster in the Seventeenth Century. Find out more about the man behind a tiny token from the collection, and how sugar became a key battleground in the abolition campaign.
This episode involves an historic inn, two Victorian authors, and a ghost, all the elements needed for a spooky look into Lancaster’s very own ghost story. Find out all about the sinister tale which Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins wrote while staying in the town, and how the tale they created might say more about Victorian society, and a woman’s place in it, than might be at first apparent.
Come with us in this episode and take a step inside Williamson’s linoleum factory. But make sure you follow the rules! We’re looking at a rule board from the factory with Inga Jackson to find out more about what life would have been like for the workers.
ALFRED CLOWES ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY MEDAL
CROSS-BAY SWIM BADGE
ADELAIDE HALL PROGRAMME
We’re looking at a heroic story from Lancaster’s past in this episode. Andrew Walmsley talks to us about the Royal Humane Society Medal and the local people who were awarded it for saving their fellow Lancastrians who fell into the Lune.
Jump into another episode to find out about the history of the Morecambe Cross Bay Swim. We chat with Charlie Overett who worked as a pilot for the swim when he was just 13 years old, to find out more about the experience of those who took part in one of the toughest swimming challenges in the country.
Come back to the fabulous 1940s with us for a glamourous night when Morecambe resounded with the music of Harlem. We speak to Kirsty Roberts to find out about Adelaide Hall, the famous Jazz singer who brought glamour to the Winter Gardens.
In this episode, we are taking a look at one of the rarest textiles in Britain. A fascinating and enigmatic find that shines a light on a mysterious period in our history. The Quernmore shroud was part of a burial, discovered on a fellside, which raised as many questions as it answered. We speak to Carolyn Dalton and Professor Fiona Edmonds to find out more about the shroud, the burial, and the world it comes from.
SHRAPNEL FROM THE WHITE LUND EXPLOSION
SHRIGLEY AND HUNT WINDOW DESIGN
GRASSYARD PARK BY REGINALD ASPINWALL
In this episode, we look at the life of a Black entertainer who was a much-loved Morecambe figure. We speak to Valerie Waterhouse about the fascinating life of James Herns and the rare autobiography that he left behind to tell his story.
Come back with us to the night of a local tragedy. We talk to Tim Churchill to find out all about what happened on that fateful night in 1917 at the White Lund projectile filling factory.
Today’s object let us explore the story of one of Lancaster’s most decorative industries, and the main players in the world of stained-glass making. We speak with Gordon Clark to find out about this beautiful window design, the man in it, and the people behind it.
In today’s episode, we explore the sometimes troubled life of a gifted local painter. We talk with artist Alistair Makinson about Reginald Aspinwall, his life, his work, and why his paintings are still so popular and captivating today.