The Garden City Collection, based on Letchworth’s Wilbury Hills Road, is known for its comprehensive assortment of quirky and historical objects cataloguing the history and heritage of the town since its beginnings in 1903 as the world’s first Garden City.
One of the Collection’s treasured objects is currently attracting extra attention, having been shortlisted in Hertfordshire Association of Museums’ Object of the Year 2019 competition.
The object, an 83-year-old toilet roll, was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists, E E Russell, who ran a chemist shop on Station Road in Letchworth from 1911.
Garden City Collection Officer, Sophie Walter, comments: “This is likely the oldest surviving toilet roll in Letchworth, and perhaps all of Hertfordshire! It is amazing that something most people will have used or thrown away has stood the test of time for 83 years. Our toilet roll is gathering a following on social media. Hard to believe but there’s also a Twitter account called @MuseumToilets, and we’re thrilled they are supporting us. We hope this is just the beginning and that the people of Letchworth, and all-around Hertfordshire, will vote too”.
The entry is up against 10 additional items including a Stanhope peep pipe from Dacorum Heritage Trust, samurai armour from Hertford Museum and an emperor penguin from the Natural History Museum at Tring.
The vintage toilet roll is currently on display at Letchworth’s very own micro museum, Museum at One Garden City, which is located just off Broadway Gardens.
To vote, visit: hertfordshiremuseums.org.uk/object-of-the-year.
The closing date is 31 October 2019.
The Garden City Collection houses more than 250,000 items including the archives of the early Garden City Movement and the architectural plans of the world’s first Garden City; furniture; art and a wealth of social history telling Letchworth’s fascinating story.