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Keep up to date with all the latest blog posts from Tees Valley Museums.

close up picture of the face of Edmund Backhouse, and old man with a large white beard and long eyebrows styled in an upward fashion. His face is sunken with deep lines on his brow, fresh plump cheeks and set back eyes.

Sir Edmund Backhouse

Born into a Darlington Quaker family, Sir Edmund Backhouse led a controversial life as an openly gay man in China during the turn of the 20th century.

Chatting with Cherry Valentine

RuPaul's Drag Race has launched the world of Drag onto the main stage and given the LGBTQ+ community an international platform. This year sees the launch of RuPaul's Drag Race UK series two, where in December it was announced we have a Darlington Drag Queen on the show! Cherry Valentine kindly chatted with us for LGBTQ+ History Month, and we got to ask her some of our burning questions!

J. F. Smith and Co.

Preston Park Museum’s Victorian Sweet Shop, J. F. Smith and Co., is named after the confectioner, James Fothergill Smith, and his works were once based in Green Dragon Yard in Stockton.

fashion illustration from 1839 showing three women in full length profile and three just head and sholders

The Price of Fashion

Arsenic green was used in paint, wallpaper and textiles. Here we are looking into this deadly substance and its use in fashions, plus its deadly consequences.

Mandall and Co.’s Licoricine

Edward Mandall, a chemist living in Stockton, created Licoricine in the 1870s. It was a cold medicine which claimed to relieve the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis and other ailments.

Christmas Gifts in World War One

Over one hundred years ago, small acts of goodwill were made by children to soldiers serving in the First World War and were recognised by a charity called the Overseas Club.

Head Wrightson and Co.

Head Wrightson was one of the first iron and steel making firms in the Cleveland area to come about in the period of industrialisation in the 1850s.

Black tin first aid box. Large with White writing on the front saying - B.R First Aid No 2

The First Aid Kit

First Aid Kits were developed commercially by Johnson and Johnson for use on the American Railroad. On both sides of the Atlantic, accidents resulting in injury and death were common on the railways.

The Cleveland Institution of Engineers

Founded in 1864, The Cleveland Institution of Engineers is possibly one of the oldest Institutions of its kind in the world. It contributed to the industrial and technical growth of the Tees Valley and is still a successful Institution today.

Locomotion No 1 is a very early steam train, often described as a giant barrel on wheels.

Locomotion No 1

In this blog we are looking into Locomotion No 1, the early steam engine that ran of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. This majestic piece of machinery is now in danger of leaving Darlington and Head of Steam – Darlington Railway Museum need your help to ‘Keep the Loco in Darlo’.

Kilncraft Bacchus

Kilncraft Bacchus was a style of British pottery that evoked the feel and look of the 1970s and is still remembered today as a staple of the decade.

full length picture of a 1915 doll dressed like a flapper. Dressed in red with no eyes and white flowers in the hair

Creepy Dolls

For Halloween we are looking into one part of our collections that have the ultimate 'creep' factor - Dolls.

What is it about old dolls that give many of us the creeps? These innocent children’s toys have a reputation for giving many of our colleagues shivers when they have to work with them or even walk past them. So how is it that these little objects can have such a powerful effect on us?