During my time at the museum, I’ve found specific items in the collection that I’ve begun to research and have investigated where they are from and who might have owned them. I’ve also had the feeling you sometimes get in museums – of the many items on display, there are some from the 1950’s that evoke a sense of a preserved time capsule. In particular, a children’s play size melamine set of dishes and a miniature stove. Other items include the red Grand piano in the doll’s house and a silver ornate baby’s whistle, which I am informed, is the oldest item in the collection.
I’ve also been looking through the reference library, one book in particular which stood out was Antonia Fraser’s A History of Toys. It detailed the historical record of artefacts and antiques from ancient civilisations to present day. I also read the museum copy of Polar the Titanic bear, which tells the story of the Spedden family’s international travels through the eyes of their son’s Steiff polar bear, named Polar. There are few of these bears in the world and one is in the collection here. The story was written by Daisy Spedden, in light of the unexpected end that their journey had and to help her son manage the trauma of the events that ensued.
|Douglas Spedden playing with a spinning top on board RMS Titanic|
Louise Clement is a MA Creative writing student at University of Brighton. She is a poet and writer. She has run events in the Brighton Fringe, had her work displayed in a local gallery and published in avant-garde magazine Rag n Rock.