Mystery items from our Farley’s collection

Our Social History curator has been working on a collection that relates to the Farley’s factory which was in Plymouth. She has been unable to identify what these objects are, so we’d like to hear from anyone that can help. They look as though they would be used to carry out a fairly specific job so we hope someone might remember using these at work!

If you can help, please add a comment below or get in touch at museum@plymouth.gov.uk.

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Can you identify this Plymouth school?

It’s back to school for many, so we thought this topic would be a good one to jog some memories!

Not one, but two photographs this time. They were catalogued consecutively, which means they are likely to be the same school – but you can never be too sure!

Our volunteer Madeleine had a look at these two photographs but she couldn’t identify the school, and neither can we.  If anyone was lucky enough (or unlucky depending on the weather!) to remember using this outdoor swimming pool, we’d love to hear from you.

The photographs are from the City Engineers collection, which covers the post-war redevelopment of the city centre as well as new suburbs. Unfortunately no date was recorded with these items, but we would guess they were taken in the early 1960’s. We’re sure there are some ex-pupils of this school who can enlighten us!

All this work helps towards plans for our redevelopment – you can head over to the Love Our Past news section to find out the latest on the developments.

Plymouth Seafront – can you date this photo?

Plymouth Seafront
© Plymouth City Council (Arts & Heritage)

We continue our series of photo mysteries with this rather lovely photograph of Plymouth seafront.

It looks like the crowds are out making the most of the weather – though there don’t appear to be many in the sea, so perhaps it was too early for that!

We don’t have a date for this particular photograph so would be pleased if anyone can help. Things we have noted which could help with the dating are:

  • Smeaton’s Tower has stripes
  • The Pier is in the background (though we aren’t sure if this is before or after it was damaged)
  • There appears to be a slide from the top of the Tinside Lido structure

Any suggestions welcome…..

All this work helps towards plans for our redevelopment – you can head over to the Love Our Past news section to find out the latest on the developments.

First mystery solved… Devonport Mechanics Insitute

© Plymouth City Council (Arts & Heritage)
© Plymouth City Council (Arts & Heritage)

This photograph caused some interest in our office last week! It was catalogued as the interior of Devonport Guildhall, but our volunteer Madeleine was not convinced! Quite a bit of detective work followed, looking into various suggestions including whether it could have been Devonport Library. The racking and filing didn’t look like it was part of a library though.

Our Curator of City and Maritime Heritage, Nigel Overton, then suggested to try the Mechanics Institute, which sounded like a good lead. Although there are many references to this building online, it wasn’t until after searching on the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office catalogue, we got a match that we could positively identify! Here, it is listed as “a black and white photograph of interior of Devonport Library, showing main hall with gallery”. We do think though, that our copy may be from the time that it was used as the Motor Tax office which closed around 1976.

The record is now listed as ‘Photograph showing the interior of the Mechanics Institute, Duke Street, Devonport, Plymouth, possibly when it was used as the Motor Taxation Office.’ We have the date as c1950, but if you can give a more accurate date it would be welcome!

All this work helps towards plans for our redevelopment – you can head over to the Love Our Past news section to find out the latest on the developments.