A Tour of the Museum

The Museum Shop

The late David Plant, standing by the shop door.

On arrival at the museum, the first room entered is the Museum Shop. This used to be the fancy drapers and general stores, that was run by Edith and Flora Hodson. The shop is much as it used to be and still has the same counter. On display are many of the items from Edith and Flora's shop. The same bell still rings when you open the door. On leaving the shop you enter the Parlour.
Some of the items on display that were from Edith and Flora's Shop.
The fireplace and the display about the shop. On the floor is an old hand-made rug.
The Parlour
The parlour is an accurate reconstruction of an early twentieth century sitting room. The furniture, pictures, books and ornaments belonged to the Hodson family. John and Sarah Hodson ordered many of the items, including furniture, from Graves of Sheffield, who were a large mail order company. The room still has its gas lighting and an open fire, and retains its original warm family atmosphere. When you leave the parlour, you climb the stairs to the Upstairs Display Room.

Another corner of the parlour

The Upstairs Display Room

A corner of the Upstairs Display Room

Two of the original bedrooms have been joined to make the Upstairs Display Room. It contains a collection of locks from about 1750 to the present day and includes a copy of an Egyptian lock from 2000BC.
There are Dreadnought padlocks, in which the key was applied to the surface rather than inserted into the lock, French keys, detector locks and gas-proof locks. Over the fireplace is a fine display of lockmaker's plates and nearby is a display showing some of the many specialist locks that were made in the town.




One of the displays showing some of the many interesting locks that are in the collection.

Another corner of the room showing some of the display cabinets, the interesting lockmaker's plates and one of the safes.
One of the exhibits shows the inside of a lock.
The Dreadnought Padlock which was patented 
by G.G. Potter in 1895.
On leaving the display room you enter the bedroom.
The Bedroom
The bedroom, is as it must have been in the early 1900's. The furniture, linen and linen chest were Hodson family possessions. The bed which was ordered from the Graves catalogue, in about 1900, is known as 'Parisienne' in style. After leaving the bedroom you enter the office.
Another corner of the bedroom.
The Office
This was originally Hodson's office, which has now been recreated in the room. The furniture includes Hodson's old roll-top desk, complete with order books, letterheads and correspondence from customers.
Another of the displays in the office.
You leave the office by the winding staircase, and go down to the kitchen.

The Kitchen

The kitchen includes a black-leaded kitchen range and a scrubbed wooden table. It was laid out just as it would have been in about 1900. It is evocative of the time when the fire was always lit and the kettle was on the boil.
Another view of the kitchen
After leaving the kitchen, you go into the yard and into the first door on the left, to enter the Varnish Shop and the family's wash house.

The Varnish Shop

The varnish shop is where the locks were varnished to prevent rust. The process, which provided an attractive finish was known as japanning. The family also used this room as a wash house and on display is a mangle, wash tubs, dolly maid and a posher. 
Next door is the Jack Taylor Education Room, which used to be the stamping shop. Across the yard on the right is the Two Storey Workshop.

The yard showing the varnish shop and the Jack Taylor Education Room.
The two storey workshop.
The Two Story Workshop

The late David Plant at the forge.

This is where the locks were made. The ground floor contains the smithy, presses and the machinery to produce the lock parts. The first floor contains the assembly shop, where the locks were assembled. After leaving the workshop you walk across the yard and leave the museum via the parlour and shop.

The large hand press in the lower workshop.

The powered press.

The lower workshop showing the large hand press and scales.

Hand presses in the upper workshop.

Overhead line shafting in the upper workshop.

A general view of the upper workshop.

One of the assembly areas in the upper workshop.
Some of the volunteers standing outside the Museum. On the extreme right is Tom Millington and next left is Andy Millington. Photo courtesy of Norma Taylor.


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