Visit our museums to see a number of special items from Museums Northumberland’s collections. Chosen to be part of A History of the North in 100 Objects, a website-based project showcasing the pioneering spirit and impact of the North of England’s inventors, artists, scientists and designers for Great Exhibition of the North, the items are on display until 9th September.
At Berwick Museum and Art Gallery you can discover ‘The Quintet’, a delightful monthly journal from the beginning of the twentieth century, with contributions from five Berwick-Upon-Tweed friends. Each month they would contribute a letter, accompanied by photographs and newspaper cuttings and every edition had a specially designed frontispiece by artist and Quintet member James Wallace.
At Hexham Old Gaol you will be able to see Hexham Tans from early 19th century. In 1823, 23,504 dozen pairs of these gloves were produced and exported across the world. They were made from the hides of locally farmed animals, tanned in Hexham, and coloured with ochre from the Tyne Valley.
An early set of ivory and silver Northumbrian pipes commissioned by the wood engraver Thomas Bewick for his son, Robert Elliot Bewick, is one of two featured items at Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum. The Shepherd’s plaid, Northumbrian tartan or Border Drab as it is known, is also on display. This style of tartan is one of the oldest in existence. Much plainer in design than Scottish tartan, the modern Northumbrian plaid is a black and white check.
Woodhorn Museum has a very special memorial glass on display commemorating the Hartley Pit Disaster on the 16th January 1862, when 204 men and 43 pit ponies died. The beam of an engine meant to protect lives and avoid flooding snapped and trapped those below. As a result, a change to health and safety law required mines to have at least two escape routes saving countless lives.
The online project is funded by the National Lottery and developed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM). More information can be found at www.100objectsnorth.co.uk