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Here you can find interesting local stories from the collections in our museums.

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?

Nahem Shoa sanding alongside Giant Head Ben at Hartlepool Art Gallery

Nahem Shoa and ‘Giant Head of Ben’

Nahem Shoa's portrait, 'Giant Head of Ben' is one of a series of large portraits and is currently an important part of Hartlepool’s Art Collection.

Arthur Wharton stands in his football kit. He has a long mustache with his hands resting in his pockets

Arthur Wharton

Arthur Wharton may not be a household name today but his place in football history is unmatched. He was the first black professional football player in the FA and one of the best goalkeepers to ever grace the field, pioneering many techniques. Originally from Ghana, Wharton came to Darlington when he was 19 in 1882 to train as a Methodist Missionary at Cleveland Collage.

Lady Florence Bell

Lady Florence Bell had been a successful playwright in her time, a contributor to the social study of Middlesbrough’s steel workers, and was the step-mother of Gertrude Bell. However she is also remembered controversially for her views on women and her work as an Anti-Suffragist.

black and white picture of women riveting an engine during the second world war

Darlington Locomotive Works in WW2

North Road Locomotive Works in Darlington played a big part in the local community. Here we look at a photograph held in the Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum collection and explore the role of women in the works during the Second World War.

Three wax cylinders

The Edison Wax Cylinders

These wax cylinders are held in the collection at Preston Park Museum and Grounds and are a fascinating insight into how our ancestors listened to music. This was the beginning of the commercial trade of pre-recorded music from some of the favourite performers of the time. Even better they could listen to theses performances in the comfort of their own homes.

Gertrude Bell and the Law of Excavation

Gertrude Bell is known for her part in the First World War as a diplomat and spy, and in the creation of Iraq, but she was also an important figure in preserving the country’s history and for founding a Museum before the end of her life.

A look at the top half of a 1910's maid dress. made of cotton twill with thin red and white strips with 6 pearl buttons down the front.

The Maids Dress, 1910s

This dress is one of two domestic service dresses kept in the collection at Preston Park Museum and Grounds. It’s a heavy garment made from red and white striped cotton twill a robust material made to sustain lots of wear and tear. It has 6 pearl buttons down the front with a high neck fastening.

Richard Pickersgill

Richard Pickersgill had been a talented member of the British Admiralty and Captain Cook’s crews. But his life and career were tragically cut short.

White marble statue showing the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders by Giovanni Battista Lombardi.

Susannah and the Elders Statue

This beautiful sculpture was created in 1874 by Giovanni Battista Lombardi in Rome and is now held in the Cultural Services, Hartlepool Borough Council collection. It depicts the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders which appears in the Old Testament in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

George M’Gonigle

George M'Gonigle was the Medical Officer for Health for Middlesbrough and Stockton-On-Tees in the 1920s and 1930s. His efforts to improve health and welfare changed the lives of the towns' people.