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Object Stories

Get creative with the Museum collection. Choose an object, write a story, it's that simple!

Poems, stories, anecdotes, memories all welcome.


cheese? bread? lard?  Some of the suggestions from people trying to identify this object from the Museum collection

This image in our Online Museum prompted these recollections from one of our community researchers who correctly identified the mystery object


Another soap episode

"The museum quiz brought a memory back to me. To the days when I was very small and my Grannie’s washing copper in the cellar. It was a place I was forbidden to go on my own, down the steep stone steps into that dark cold place.

The copper was a huge shiny golden brown bowl that could have swallowed me.  My auntie showed me how the water from the tap over the sink in the corner was heated up by a gas ring which was lighted under the copper.  Hard yellow laundry soap was grated into the water as it heated.

Wash day then was a task that could last all week. Monday whites had to be pretreated using the glass rubbing board, peggied and possed in the copper, rinsed, blued, rinsed and starched then all the rest of the laundry done. Tuesday ironing. Wednesday patch and mend.

Phew!! I’m exhausted  even thinking about it. I’ll just pop the washing in the dryer now that cycle’s finished and have a cup of tea.

 Jan H.

Laundry c1900.JPG

The Laundry at West Riding Asylum c.1900

Jan's story reminded us about this photograph in the collection at the Mental Health Museum

Asylum patients were expected to work if they were able and many worked in the laundry.

 A posser, referred to in Jan's story above, can be seen leaning out of one of the wash tubs. They were used to agitate the clothes in the tub.

Visit the Online Museum to see more objects. Send your stories to or 07464 655 411

It's now 18 weeks since the world changed and Carrie reflects on the impact of not being able to work, missing her family and the power of a good cry.

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