With origins in the ancient world, the still life painting emerged as a distinctive genre or category in the 17th century. Flowers, foodstuffs and commonplace objects were arranged and portrayed with a precision that tested artistic skill. While the everyday subject matter and detailed realism gave the still life a broad appeal, the religious or allegorical symbolism that these paintings often contained appealed to the connoisseur.
The attractions of the still life painting have remained a constant for artists and collectors alike. Fred Elwell welcomed the challenge of traditional motifs such as dead fish or game, which he explored through colour, texture, tonal variation and the play of light. Codfish and Herrings was painted while Fred was still a student at Lincoln School of Art. Described by Fred’s biographer, Wendy Loncaster, as ‘probably the most significant work in Elwell’s early development’, Codfish and Herrings gained him the Queen’s Bronze Medal in the National Art Schools Competition in 1887.
Location and viewing details: Codfish and Herrings can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
An early work by Beverley’s celebrated artist, Fred Elwell, and surely one of his most appealing. It was purchased for the collection in 1972. In the moments that follow the departure from the table of family and guests, the butler succumbs to temptation, helping himself to the remains of the port.
In any grand household the butler occupied a revered position. He was often the most senior servant and invariably trusted with the keys to his master’s wine cellar. An abuse of this trust could be a dismissible offence. However, with his use of warm inviting tones, we sense that Elwell refuses to condemn his actions but rather invites us to sympathise with the butler’s indulgent lapse.
Location and viewing details: The Butler takes a Glass of Port (or All Things Come To Those Who Wait) can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
The Beverley artist, Fred Elwell, was almost seventy when World War II broke out. As such, active service was out of the question. However, it seems that like others, Fred was determined to ‘do his bit’ for the war effort. This painting depicts evacuees from war-torn Hull who were housed in Fred’s studio on Trinity Lane in Beverley. Hull experienced the worst levels of bombing anywhere outside London during the war. In contrast, nearby Beverley was largely untouched by the raids, and therefore offered a place of relative safety.
The artist appears in the picture as a reflection in the mirror. He sits at his canvas painting, attempting to carry on as usual despite the presence of the strangers now living in his studio. A washing line has been erected, strewn with bed covers in order to provide some level of privacy for both artist and evacuees. Fred was known to be a shy man. Blackout curtains can be seen at the windows, which would have to be drawn at night in order to cut out any glimmer of light that might guide and therefore aid enemy bombing raids.
Location and viewing details: Refugees in my Studio can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Born in Beverley in 1870, the painter Fred Elwell initially trained at the Lincoln School of Art and the academies in Antwerp and Paris before returning home. The town and townspeople of Beverley were a constant source of inspiration.
George Monkman held the office of Macebearer in Beverley for 30 years and was 84 when Fred painted his portrait. The artist allegedly claimed that he had to keep Monkman going with glasses of brandy as he sat for his portrait. Monkman was clearly unwell at the time and sadly died just weeks after the painting was completed.
This is one of Fred Elwell’s early works, and perhaps one of his best. It captures George Monkman’s frailty and forbearance at the time, as he struggles with illness and infirmity. Perhaps Fred’s youth (he was barely twenty years old) provided the emotional detachment needed to paint this unyielding image of age and infirmity, a subject that must have seemed remote to him at the time.
Location and viewing details: George Monkman, the Macebearer can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Mary Dawson Holmes married the Beverley-born artist Fred Elwell in 1914 and the couple settled in Beverley. She was a talented artist and although her work was not confined to local subjects, like Fred, she drew inspiration from the town of Beverley and its many delights.
In this painting, Mary Elwell presents a view of Beverley Minster from the south-east, across the gardens of nearby houses. The gable end of the Friary is visible to the right. A Mrs Woodmansey lived in one of the houses around the Friary and took in washing for a living. She managed her business with only a gas ring to heat the water, drying the clothes on the washing lines outside. The green paint on the gate was known locally as ‘Hodgson’s green’, as it was the shade used for the paintwork at Hodgson’s Tannery in Beverley.
The focus of Mary’s painting is not the architectural splendour of Beverley Minster, but rather its reassuring presence in everyday life. The Minster provides an unfaltering backdrop to the mundane, as Beverlonians go about their daily lives.
Location and viewing details: Beverley Minster from the Friary can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Although born in England, Henry William Banks Davis spent most of his childhood years in France. He returned to England to embark on his studies; initially at Oxford University, and later at the Royal Academy schools. Landscapes and animal paintings dominate his artistic output. Both held great appeal for his Victorian audience and Banks was widely patronised as a consequence.
The painting was first owned by the wealthy textile manufacturer, Alfred Morrison. It hung in the music room at his home at Fonthill House, Wiltshire. It was subsequently purchased by the Beverley-born industrialist and benefactor, John Edward Champney. As the picture is huge (it measures approximately 7ft 7ins x 15ft 7ins or 236cm x 480cm) it seems likely that he bought it with the intention of presenting it to Beverley Art Gallery, which he did in July 1921.
Location and viewing details: A Panic is permanently on display at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley.
Described as a painter, decorative artist and illustrator, Frederick Cayley Robinson (1862-1927) studied at St. John’s Wood, the Royal Academy schools and at the Académie Julian in Paris. He later became a Professor at the Glasgow School of Art. Despite being renowned as a distinctive, established and well-respected painter, Cayley Robinson was also known for being incredibly reclusive. A number of works by the artist are now owned by Leeds City Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain.
The painting depicts a Nubian Slave in a ruined temple, tending a flock of sheep and playing an instrument and singing. Cayley Robinson's work has been described as ‘strange and silent’ where something ‘odd or irrational always seems to threaten the The picture was bequeathed to the Gallery as part of the Champney Collection, and it remains one of the best pieces of work in the collection.
Location and Viewing Details: Song of the Nubian Slave is permanently on display at the Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, with late night openings until 8:00pm held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Although best known for his paintings of Hull, James Neal was born in Islington, London. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art, receiving tuition from Leon Underwood amongst others, before entering the Royal College of Art in 1936. With the outbreak of war, Neal joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was stationed in the East Riding of Yorkshire and became familiar with Beverley and Hull, spending idle hours sketching fellow soldiers. He subsequently gifted a series of his wartime sketches to Beverley Art Gallery.
Following the war, Neal returned to London, where he met and married his wife Doreen. He began teaching but in 1958, along with his young family, moved to Hull where he had secured a position as Lecturer in Painting and Drawing at Hull Regional College of Art. The streets, rooflines, docks and distinctive drains became the subject of countless townscapes, often hard-edged. In this instance, Neal offers a view from the rooftops of Hull Regional College of Art, where he worked, with the old Tower Cinema in the foreground.
Location and viewing details: View from the Top (or Rooftops, Hull) can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Born in Deepcar near Sheffield, Margaret Parker started working life as a bookkeeper before marrying and moving to the Midlands. It was while she was living at Sutton Coldfield that she joined the local Society of Artists and began attending evening classes at the art school.
Parker moved to the East Riding in the 1960s and became a regular exhibitor at Beverley Art Gallery. Three works were purchased for the gallery at this time; two were still life compositions, which appear to have passed into the permanent collection without remark. However, the third picture, Grey Landscape, caused something of a stir and the local newspaper reported that in its support of ‘modern art’ Beverley Art Gallery had gone ‘beyond the limit’. It seems a dispute had broken out between opposing members of the Town Council, one of whom took exception to the work. He disliked the picture and considered it an inappropriate acquisition. His colleague disagreed, stating that while the councillor “had got beyond the pony and cart stage” and engaged with modern life, “his taste in art had not kept pace.”
Whatever the dispute, Margaret Parker took delight in the debate and the fact that her work had presented a challenge. She was an instinctive artist who explored the capacity of simplified line and the potential of space, colour and tone. Subsequent pictures have been added to our collection in recent years including The Canal, Huddersfield, which was a gift from the Parker family.
Location and viewing details: The Canal, Huddersfield can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The painting is often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
The watercolour painter and book illustrator, Arthur Rackham, first presented his Gulliver in Lilliput as a triptych - a work of art comprised of three sections - at the Leicester Galleries in London in 1905. The exhibition was devoted to watercolours ‘illustrating “Rip van Winkle” and other fantasies’. The three ‘stories’ featured are: ‘Gulliver Steals the Enemy’s Fleet’, ‘The Review of the Lilliputian Army’ and ‘Gulliver and the Tailors’. All three were produced as part of a series illustrating the popular satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, which first appeared in 1726.
The pictures were bought by John Edward Champney, the industrialist and art enthusiast who had provided the funds to build Beverley Art Gallery. Champney was a good friend of Rackham and he subsequently donated both the pictures and a signed first edition of Rackham’s beautifully illustrated Gulliver’s Travels to Beverley Library and Art Gallery.
Location and viewing details: Gulliver in Lilliput can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The images are often on display in the art gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Early 7th century Anglo-Saxon sword pommel, with leaded bronze core and elaborately decorated gold surface. Found in 1997 by two metal detectorists, on the beach at Aldbrough.
One face and part of the upper side are decorated with rows of open cells (the ‘cloisonné’ technique) which would once have held semi-precious garnets, framed by areas of beaded wire. The other face is decorated with beaded filigree (fine gold wire) twisted into an elaborate knot work pattern, with small circles in between the knots. The leaded bronze core has a central opening for receipt of the sword tang.
Dating to about 600-650 AD, the pommel would have formed the counterweight on the end of a sword handle and judging by the material used, the weapon’s owner must have been of some status in society – probably a local nobleman.
The Pommel was purchased with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Location and viewing details: The Gilt Broze Sword Pommel can be viewed at the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. The object is usually on display in the gallery ,or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Since 1999, around 100 Iron Age gold coins have been found on agricultural land near Beverley. Forty-six of the coins have been purchased for East Riding Museums Service with the support of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The coins date to around 50 BC and were produced by the Corieltauvi tribe (from the area of what is now modern Lincolnshire). They weigh around 5 grams each, and are of about 5p size. The coins (called ‘staters’ by archaeologists) are made of around 40% gold and 60% copper, giving them a rose gold appearance.
When found the Beverley coins were very scattered – perhaps by Medieval and later ploughing. No other Iron Age finds or traces of buildings were found, so the presence of the coins remains unexplained. As the coins were minted south of the Humber, they must have arrived at Beverley as a result of warfare, trade, marriage gift or perhaps, as a religious offering. Celtic coins are fairly rare north of the Humber and this hoard exceeds all previously recorded finds from the East Riding.
Location and viewing details: The Celtic Coins can be viewed at the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. The coins are usually on display in the galler,y or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Consisting of five swords in highly decorated copper alloy scabbards and 33 iron spearheads, the cache was discovered in the summer of 2002 by three metal detectorists on agricultural land near South Cave. The cache had suffered some damage from ploughing (two of the swords had been severely bent). The detectorists promptly reported their discovery to local archaeologists, who then mounted a rescue excavation. Following a grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the cache was purchased by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. After conservation by the Museum of London Archaeology Service, the finds were put on permanent display at the Treasure House in Beverley.
The weapons were found in a pit within the enclosure ditch of a late Iron Age settlement. Large pieces of Roman amphora (olive oil vessels from southern Spain) had been used to cover the weapons. The wooden shafts of the spears had been carefully removed and the weapons tied together in bundles.
As there were water sources nearby in the Iron Age, it may be that this is a ritual deposit. Alternatively, it is possible to see this as a post battle burial, or it may be that members of the local Parisi tribe buried the weapons to avoid having to give them to the Romans. Based on the pottery, the weapons were buried in about 70AD, as the Roman army swept through East Yorkshire.
Whatever the explanation, the swords, with their well-preserved handles (one sword using both elephant and whale ivory for the handle and the others using either or) and beautifully decorated scabbards, are of international significance.
Location and viewing details: Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. The weapons cache is usually on display in the gallery or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
A Bronze Age cremation urn, found during the excavation of Kilham long barrow in the 1950s-1960s.
Reconstructed from a large number of fragments, the urn’s exterior is decorated with impressed patterns made by lengths of cord and a pointed implement (perhaps a piece of flint or bone). Long Barrows are a type of monument that appeared in Britain in about 4000-3500 BC and are also found in much of Western Europe. Although varying in size and form they essentially consist of: - a burial chamber (usually at the east end), an elaborate entrance (generally blocked up after burials are placed in the chamber) and the whole structure covered over with an earth mound. The internal structures could be of timber or stone. Kilham long barrow has been largely ploughed away and is virtually invisible from the ground.
Location and viewing details: The Burial Urn can be seen by appointment in the museum stores at Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA.
These snow shoes were the property of John Howard Birkitt. He was a Corporal in the 6th Battalion of the Green Howards and died on 28th June 1942 while serving in the Middle East.
The snowshoes are probably from when he sailed to Newfoundland as part of the Grenfell Mission. Wilfred Grenfell was a British medical missionary who devoted much of his life to establishing regular health-care in Labrador and northern Newfoundland from his first expedition in 1892. The International Grenfell Association was formed by Grenfell himself, and was the company which provided medical care there into the 1900s, when Birkitt himself was in Newfoundland.
Location and viewing details: The Snow Shoes can be viewed at the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. The object is usually on display in the gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
These are one of two known sets of maquettes or small scale models for the sculpture known as The Jesters. The sculpture was commissioned for Paradise Square in Beverley as part of a 1980s housing project designed by the architect Richard Swain. Gruber-Stieger created the maquettes in order to work out her ideas and offer the architect a visual impression of the finished work. When the full scale version was finally realised it included a water-feature.
Jacqueline Gruber-Stieger works as a sculptor, jeweller and medallist. Although of Swiss origin, her family moved to the East Riding when Jacqueline was baby. Following art training in Edinburgh and a lengthy period working in Europe, she returned to East Yorkshire in 1969 and established her own foundry at Welton along with her husband, the sculptor Alfred Gruber. However, she has continued to exhibit regularly in Europe. Examples of her public sculpture can be found locally in both Hull and East Yorkshire.
Location and viewing details: The Jesters can be viewed at Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley. The maquettes are usually on display in the gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
In the late 1800s through to the 1950s, medical devices that were advertised as “cure-alls” for any type of ailment were everywhere. Vapo-Cresolene was one example of these. The idea was to heat the small metal dish with Cresolene in it by lighting the small oil lamp.
The vapours created by heating the Cresolene could, according to the box, cure nearly all respiratory diseases such as:
‘Whooping Cough, Spasmodic Croup, Nasal Catarrh, Colds, Bronchitis, Coughs, Sore Throat, Broncho Pneumonia, The Paroxysms of Asthma and Hay Fever, The Bronchial Complications of Scarlet Fever and Measles and as an aid in the treatment of Diphtheria and Certain Inflammatory Throat Diseases’.
Location and viewing details: The Vaporiser can be viewed at the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. The object is usually on display in the gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
Toy versions of real world tea sets have been produced for children for a very long time. This tea set also adds to that childhood experience by having well known nursery rhymes printed onto the pieces. The quality of this tea set makes it all the more special. A modern equivalent would be made from plastic, but this tea seat was manufactured in the 1920s, before the widespread use of plastics, and the set, comprising cups, saucers, teapot, plates, and sugar bowl, is made from china. Aside from the nursery rhymes, it has the appearance more of a miniature adult’s tea set than a child’s toy.
Location and viewing details: The Children's Nursery Rhyme Tea Set can be viewed at the Treasure House, Champney Road, Beverley. This item is usually on display in the gallery, or can be seen by appointment in the museum stores.
The Ethel was a sloop, a vessel peculiar to the waterways of the Humber region. She was built in 1864, weighing 41 tons, and registered in Hull - official number 73159. Sloops were prone to instability because of their flat bottoms. Heavy lee boards were used to improve stability and these are shown lowered in the painting.
By 1890 she was owned by Walter T. Sutton of Doncaster. In 1912 she became stranded off St Andrew's Dock near Hull. Her crew were saved but the ship was lost.
Reuben Chappell depicted Ethel in the muddy waters near Trent Falls. Chappell was known as a Pierhead painter. He took commissions from ships' owners, masters, shipbuilders and crew to paint portraits of their vessels. By the age of 20 he was earning his living from painting and had a studio at 7 Jackson Street, Goole. He left Goole in 1904 for a warmer climate in Cornwall and continued painting ships until his death. It is believed his output numbered around 12,000 paintings. His artistic practice involved creating backgrounds upon which a vessel could be added. He worked quickly, often having a painting completed ready for it to be taken on the next sailing.
Location and viewing details: Ethel is currently on display in the Education Room at Goole Museum, Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS.
‘Mechanics Made Easy’ appeared in 1901 and was advertised as more than just a toy. It was educational, teaching basic mechanical principles like levers and gearing. Meccano became a brand name in 1908. They introduced kits designed for older boys. It took precision, systematic thinking and manual dexterity to put the many small parts together – it was a toy that disciplined boisterous boys!
Did you know Meccano was derived from the phrase ‘Make and know’?
This item was donated by Philip Shand. He was born in 1943 and lived with his parents Bessie and Walter in Jefferson Street in Goole. The 1950s saw a huge boom in consumer spending with cheaper and more varied goods becoming available. One market which grew rapidly was that of children’s toys. In 1990 Philip donated a large collection of toys that he had played with as a child to Goole Museum, now part of East Riding Museums Service. They range from classics such as Meccano, Dinky Toy cars and Tiddlywinks to handmade items, such as wooden daggers.
Location and viewing details: Goole Museum, Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS. Object is on display in the museum. The museum opens 5 days per week i.e. Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm. Closed for lunch 12 noon to 12.30pm (Wednesdays 1.30 to 2pm). Free admission and lift access.
Made in Indiana, U.S.A. and donated by Mrs Mukherji whose husband ran a doctor's practice in Old Goole.
In the past, the medical analysis of urine relied on a doctor's five senses and superstition. They would not only inspect it for colour and cloudiness, but would also taste it!
One of the rare instances in which uroscopy was dead-on, came in the diagnosing of diabetes by a sweet taste to the urine. In 1674, English physician Thomas Willis (1621-1675) was the first in modern medical literature to observe this relationship. He may have enjoyed the sampling process a little too much, stating that the pee on his palate was "wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar." His taste test led him to add the term "mellitus" to this form of diabetes, from the Latin word for honey.
Urine was also used as a way to identify pure evil. As the witch hunts of Europe reached a fever pitch in the 16th and 17th centuries, self-proclaimed witch-hunters and appointed tribunals determined the guilt of countless "witches" based on whether or not the cork popped out of a bottle containing a combination of their urine and metal objects like pins and nails.
Location and viewing details: The Urine Test Kit is on display in the Education Room at Goole Museum, Carlisle Street, Goole, DN14 5DS.
These pretty shoes were brought back from China by Ida Miles in 1921 when she returned from 33 years as a missionary.
Ida Elizabeth Lyon was born in 1870, the daughter of William Lyon and Mary Green. William ran a grocer’s shop in Market Weighton until his death in 1874 when it was taken over and run by Mary. Amazingly for one so young, Ida was allowed to travel to China in 1888 to teach at a Methodist missionary girls school in the town of Hankow in the Hubei province of central China.
In 1891 Ida met George Miles who had been working as a Methodist missionary in China since 1885. They were married in October and Ida moved with George to Anlu where she became the first ever Christian woman in the area.
George and Ida had five children, although the youngest died in infancy. Their life was plagued by the unrest that was common in China at the time, the children often having to be lowered from windows at the back of the home to avoid riots at the front. As they got older the children returned to Britain for their education and much of George and Ida’s story is known from letters to the children at home.
The constant travelling around the Province that was required for George’s mission took its toll on his health, and he died in 1921. Soon after this Ida returned to Market Weighton to be with her children, bringing with her a marvellous collection of items from her life in China.
Location and viewing details: The Lotus Shoes are on permanent display at Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley. Ida Elizabeth Lyon was born in 1870, the daughter of William Lyon and Mary Green. William ran a grocer’s shop in Market Weighton until his death in 1874 when it was taken over and run by Mary. Amazingly for one so young, Ida was allowed to travel to China in 1888 to teach at a Methodist missionary girls school in the town of Hankow in the Hubei province of central China. In 1891 Ida met George Miles who had been working as a Methodist missionary in China since 1885. They were married in October and Ida moved with George to Anlu where she became the first ever Christian woman in the area. George and Ida had five children, although the youngest died in infancy. Their life was plagued by the unrest that was common in China at the time, the children often having to be lowered from windows at the back of the home to avoid riots at the front. As they got older the children returned to Britain for their education and much of George and Ida’s story is known from letters to the children at home. The constant travelling around the Province that was required for George’s mission took its toll on his health, and he died in 1921. Soon after this Ida returned to Market Weighton to be with her children, bringing with her a marvellous collection of items from her life in China. Location and viewing details: Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley. Object is on permanent display.
This detailed model of the Picture Playhouse in Beverley’s Saturday Market Place was made by Peter and Sally Lee.
This beautiful building was built as a Corn Exchange in 1886 to replace an earlier Georgian Corn Exchange on the same site. The rest of the building held a Public Bath and Butter Market, with Porter’s accommodation and an Engine House.
In January 1911 the building was acquired by Ernest Symmons and his partner Leslie Holderness and opened as the Picture Playhouse on February 20th. Corn continued to be sold at the Corn Exchange every Saturday until 1927, resulting in conflicts between the users: the many windows had to be covered to show the pictures, causing complaints from the Corn Merchants that there was not enough light to trade; mice were often seen running across the floor during the films; and film-goers frequently had to brush grain off the seats.
During the Second World War the Playhouse also served as a church. The immediate post-war years saw much change and innovation for the Playhouse until Ernest Symmons’ death in 1957. Although his widow Thelma continued to run the Playhouse the decline of cinema-going in the 1950s and 60s eventually resulted in the closure of the Playhouse in 1964. The Playhouse Film Society brought films back from 1972, until the final closure of the cinema in 2003.
Location and viewing details: The Picture Playhouse Model is on permanent display at Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley.
These silver ceremonial chains date from the 1420s and are among the oldest Waits’ chains in the country.
From medieval times until about the 17th century every British town and city of any note had a band of Waits, who were civic minstrels, sometimes known as “Mayor’s minstrels”. Their duties varied from time to time and place to place, but included:
· Playing their instruments through the town at night.
· Waking the townsfolk on dark winter mornings by playing under their windows.
· Welcoming high profile visitors by playing at the town gates.
· Leading the Mayor’s procession on civic occasions.
Waits were provided with salaries, costumes and silver chains of office, bearing the town’s arms. Beverley was one the of earliest towns to appoint Waits; they were established here by 1405. Initially there were two Waits, elected annually at the feast of St Mark (25 April). A third was added in 1438.
Unusually, Beverley gave their Waits a chain and badge of office before introducing a livery as other towns had done. The first two chains were made in 1423 and the third added in 1438 making these some of the earliest chains in England.
Although minstrels generally fell into disrepute in the 17th century, Beverley’s minstrels were still held in high regard until well into the 18th century. The chains were eventually sold off in 1835 and donated back to the town in 1883. Two were joined together and used as the Mayor’s chain until a new chain was made by 1888.
Location and viewing details: The Waits' Chains are on permanent display at Beverley Guildhall, Register Square, Beverley.
Victorian swimwear was characterised by a rather greater concern for modesty than practicality, although men’s swimming costumes were much less restrictive than those which ladies were expected to wear. Before the invention of synthetic fibres, they had to be made from natural materials such as wool, or, in this case, cotton, which tended to soak up the water, and therefore got rather heavy once the wearer had started swimming.
This swimming costume was worn by William H. Hoggard, when he rescued J. Allerston, at Bridlington, on 9 September 1900. Allerston was a young boy, the son of a Bridlington newsagent. He had been playing on the quay side and fallen into the harbour, from where Hoggard rescued him.
Location and viewing details: The Swimming Costume can be seen by appointment in the museum stores at Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA.
These brooches formed part of the collection of Anne Hull Grundy. She was born in Germany in 1926, but she and her family, who were Jewish, moved to England in 1933 when Hitler came to power. She began collecting jewellery as a child, and acquired thousands of pieces over the course of her lifetime. Interestingly, Anne herself only ever wore a wedding ring.
Confined to a wheelchair from her early twenties, and bed ridden for the last twenty years of her life, she bought objects mainly by post and over the telephone. She concentrated on European jewellery of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, much of which was distinctly out of fashion when she collected it, enabling her to buy historically significant pieces relatively cheaply.
She was as generous as she was eccentric, and donated thousands of items to dozens of museums across the country.
Location and viewing details: Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA, East Riding of Yorkshire. The brooches are located in the museum stores, and can be viewed by appointment.
Black wooden model elephant, with highly decorated silver fittings. A cut orange stone or glass disc is on the forehead, with a silver shield shaped plaque hanging in front of the trunk. This is engraved - 'To Miss Amy Johnson, From Grand Hotel, Mount Lavinia, 16.7.30, Ceylon'.
The precise circumstances of this gift are unknown, but at the time Amy was travelling home to England aboard the P & O Steamer ‘Naldera’, following her epic solo flight from England-Australia. She received numerous gifts from a wide variety of individuals, societies and institutions, often with a local theme to them.
The elephant formed part of a collection donated to Sewerby Hall Museum in 1958 by Amy Johnson's father John William Johnson.
Location and viewing details: The Elephant can be seen by appointment in the museum stores at Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA
Ivory netsuke (kimono toggles) probably given to the aviatrix Amy Johnson (1903-1941), after her flight to Japan in July-August 1931.
The toggles are in a variety of forms, including peasants, craftsmen, monks, deities and mythical creatures and are intricately carved.
The precise circumstances in which Amy acquired the Netsuke are not known, but it is possible they were presented to her along with the silk kimono that is also in the collection at Sewerby Hall.
The Netsuke are part of a collection donated to Sewerby Hall Museum in 1958 by Amy Johnson's father, John William Johnson.
Location and viewing details: The Netsuke can be seen by appointment in the museum stores at Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA.
Grey silk kimono decorated with red, white and pink flowers, gold thread, birds and trees. It is lined with bright red silk. There are other Japanese motifs on the rear of the kimono, including terrapins and part of a pagoda. The Kimono forms part of a collection donated to Sewerby Hall Museum in 1958 by Amy's father, John William Johnson.
Amy flew from England to Tokyo, Japan, in July/August 1931, taking 10 days in a Puss Moth aircraft christened "Jason II". On this flight she had a co-pilot/mechanic with her, Jack Humphries, who had taught Amy how to strip down and service engines when she joined the London Aeroplane Club, Jack became a devoted admirer of and close friend to Amy.
Location and viewing details: The Kimono can be seen by appointment in the museum stores at Sewerby Hall, Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA.
Silver salver in the shape of Australia. It is engraved with the route taken by the famous aviatrix Amy Johnson (1903-1941) during her solo flight to Australia in May 1930 and her stopping points marked in red/green polished stones. The border of the salver is decorated with fish, nautiloids, shells, seaweed and seahorses. At the top is a bird with outstretched wings with the monogram 'A.J.' below.
Amy’s 19½ day flight, made in a Gipsy Moth biplane, was the first solo flight from England-Australia made by a woman. The success made her an instant international celebrity and earned her the C.B.E. medal.
Designed by Wallace Smyth, of Mappin & Webb, and hallmarked Sheffield, the salver was presented to Amy by representatives of the fishing industry in Hull. Amy’s father, John William Johnson was a leading figure in this business and was instrumental in supporting Amy in her flying career.
Location and viewing details: The Silver Salver is on display in the Amy Johnson room at Sewerby Hall Museum , Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington, YO15 1EA. The object was donated to the museum in 1958 by Amy’s father, John William Johnson.