Exhibition: 50 Objects, 50 Stories, 1 District, Pontefract Museum, Pontefract, until May 28 2011
Taking the success of the British Museum’s History of the World in 100 Objects as inspiration, the Pontefract Museum has delved through its vast collection from the West Yorkshire town’s past for an ambitious new show.
The history of the Medieval area is a rich one, ranging from beautiful and sublime to absurd and ordinary artefacts. A liquorice spade on show once belonged to Ernest Carter, one of the last liquorice growers known to work in the region, and pieces of 2,000-year-old Roman Samian pottery attest to the sub-soil treasures Castleford has yielded across the decades.
They’re accompanied by a teddy bear once owned by Thomas Judson Brooks, a local coal miner, Labour MP and spiritualist who played a key part in devising the rebuild of the House of Commons following the Second World War and went on to successfully repeal the Witchcraft Act of 1735. With characters like him in the vaults, the show should raise an eyebrow or two.