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Teesside Care Home’s Museum of Curiosities

A MUSEUM of curiosities has popped up at a Teesside care home to mark International Museums Day.

Victorian and Edwardian era medicines, old fashioned household products, antique toys, and vintage newspapers are just some of the items on display at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, Thornaby.

The cabinet of old remedies includes fake cocaine drops for toothache and tobacco treatments for asthma and bronchitis. Surf washing powder, Murray Mints, and carbolic soap can be found in the home section, and there are dozens of old school photos and posters.

Residents at the care home have been enjoying examining the curated items, some of which have sparked strong memories from their younger days.

Patricia Dobson, 84, was particularly struck by one news items in an old newspaper. She said: “I remember watching the moon landings on telly. This is amazing. I never expected to see something like this.”

A display entitled “smells of the blitz” brought back Patricia’s memories of the Second World War. She added: “You can smell the fires.”

Ella Atkinson, 89, recalled her sister after seeing a doll in the toy exhibition. She said: “How interesting. I had a doll like that but I sold it after the War to buy my own bicycle, as I thought it would be a lot more use to me. My sister kept her doll though. It’s nice to see one again.”

For resident Dorothy Sleightholme, 76, a replica Fabergé egg piqued her interest. She said: “I’ll bet they had something very expensive in there.”

When asked about the school display, particularly about using the abacus and individual slate chalkboards, she responded: “How old do you think I am!”.

The pop-up museum will remain open at Mandale House Care Home to residents and their visitors, including family and friends, until the end of May.

Home manager Jenny Hall said: “For International Museums Day we wanted to give residents a museum experience in their own home.

“Everyone really enjoyed seeing all the different exhibits and it sparked lots of conversations. We all learned a lot.

“We have planned to keep the pop-up museum open until the end of May so that residents’ families and grandchildren can also come and see the exhibits.

“Once the weather warms up we’ll be taking Mandale House residents to our local museums, like Preston Park and Dorman Museum.”

 

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