TWO items from the Tameside Museums collection have been included in an online exhibition “A History of the North in 100 Objects” which celebrates the inventiveness and imagination of the north of England.
The Chartist bell, and a dress worn by the UK cotton queen, are both symbolic of the borough’s role at the forefront of radicalism and innovation, and can be seen at Portland Basin Museum in Ashton.
Mill-worker Frances Lockett, who came from Hyde, wore the dress when she was selected as Britain’s first cotton queen in 1930.
Her role was to travel the country, promoting cotton products at a time when the industry was in decline. She became a local celebrity, and thousands of people lined the streets of Hyde to welcome her home after she won the title.
The bell was rung to announce Chartist meetings in Hyde. In 1848 when riots broke out following a rejection of the People’s Charter, which called for political reform, a man named Amos Armitage was arrested and charged for ringing it.
“A History of the North in 100 Objects” is part of the National Lottery-funded Great Exhibition of the North that was launched in Newcastle on June 13. Museums from across the region were invited to submit artefacts embodying the North’s ability to reinvent itself, to survive, thrive, and to create new futures.
Cllr Ged Cooney, Tameside Council’s executive member with responsibility for museums and heritage, said: “I’m delighted to hear that the bell and dress have been included in the exhibition.
“Tameside was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and has long been a place where freedom of thought has been encouraged and admired. It embodies the creativity and innovation for which the North of England is known.”
The objects can be viewed at www.100objectsnorth.co.uk The 10 big themes explored are: travel and transport, art and design, work and industry, religion and faith, inventions and innovations, sport and leisure, music and entertainment, landscape and natural history, politics and protest, and words and literature.
Ivor Crowther, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “Choosing 100 objects to tell the story of the North of England must have been incredibly hard, as there are so many fascinating collections to choose from.
“The curators have done a fantastic job and we’re delighted that National Lottery funding will give people across the UK and beyond the chance to see items they wouldn’t normally have been able to, and to build their own collections of the stories that inspire them.”
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