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Separating the wheat from the chaff

Our Fake News in the Age of the Horse volunteers have been busy undertaking research to explore objects in the collection that tell stories of how news travelled, ideas were communicated, and technology was shared across rural communities before the digital age. The stories uncovered will be weaved into a spectacular exhibition travelling across East Anglian in 2021.

Some of these objects are fascinating and intriguing, others form part of daily rural life, but they have all been highlighted as ‘Star Objects’ by volunteers through our innovative Search for the Stars project; which transfers information about our objects from paper to our online catalogue. This process is still in full swing but you can already view some of our objects on our website here and more and more are being added daily.

Richard Hall has been volunteering in our collections team since June 2019 after early retirement and says “I have been lucky enough to undertake further research on a wide variety of objects ranging from Bakeries and Books to Game Vans and Temple Churches. There are many more objects to be reviewed before the exhibition can be pulled together, so I and my fellow researchers are likely to be busy for some time yet!”

Girling’s Quality Cake Tin Liners, Museum of East Anglian Life

Richard has recently explored one of our food-related items: Cake Tin Liners for ‘Girling’s Quality Cakes’. The object has taken him on a journey researching the history of bread, significance of local bakeries and how consumerism has changed over time. “Shops and bakeries established themselves in towns and villages to satisfy growing demand. Produce with a short shelf life, was available to be bought (or delivered) fresh daily, and ‘shopping’ became a regular feature of life as well as an opportunity to meet with friends and neighbours.

Small Bakeries in towns and villages became focal points for locals to come together and for news to be spread. Many local bakeries such as Girlings had regular delivery rounds, for fresh bread and cakes, to houses in surrounding areas. Over the years, Girlings, for example, included deliveries to several local villages. Similarly, Palmers Bakery in Haughley still delivers fresh bread and cakes to shops in Claydon, Ipswich, Needham Market, Stanton, Stowmarket and Woolpit and a monthly market in Rickinghall.”

You can see the object here and read Richard’s research in full here

If you’re interested in delving into the history behind objects and you think volunteering as a researcher might be for you please contact our Curator on kate.knowlden@eastanglianlife.org.uk

Courtesy of Palmers of Haughley, Facebook Pages



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