So on Friday we went like two bats out of hell up the A12 to Chelmsford. Ruth was driving, she has been driving - fast - for sixty+ years so I talked a lot and tried to keep my brake foot from crashing down onto the upholstery.
Obviously we got lost when we left the A road and tried to follow the garrolous map that had been written more like a novel than a set of instructions by Janette. I am an Essex girl, but we visited parts I never knew existed.
Finally we circumnavigated the various dank fields and villages in our way and ended up at the required Industrial Estate.
We could see our breath it was so cold, however no complaints as the rest of the country seemed to be under several foot of snow, whereas we had to peer out at the almost warm bright winter sun as we thundered Northwards.
The huge hanger we entered was freezing and forbidding, full of chunks of Victorian commemoration stones and lumps of unidentifiable metal which once belonged to something else, and made it work.
Escorted up the metal stairs we found the rest of the gang, plus curator Dot; this was where Chelmsford museum houses some of it's collection, - Dot should check the factories act, no-one should have to work in such cold.
The pics above are examples of what we examined, as examples of Romance in the Store Cupboard [not my title].
In other words tokens of love.
The silk painted postcard tells it's own story. The theme became quite miltary, which was surprising. The Heart Shaped pin cushion was made by soldiers perhaps at the end of the Boer War.
Earlier donations were often not accompanied by notes, except one family that pinned details to their bequeathed textiles in the C18th. There was a tiny cushion, made by the lady of the house from a waistcoat her husband wore when she first met him. Also a small bag shaped like a Bishop's mitre, for what use..............to hold his chess pieces of course.
The pin cushion to be given to a young mother, was definitely not to be given till after the birth as it was ?believed that each pin would be a pain, if it arrived before. It reads Bless the child and Save the mother.
The little sergeant was made by a saddler, away in the First world war, very surreal.