It was such a pleasure sharing our collections with the Anand Mangal Ladies. Our job is to make our museum collections accessible and reflective of the people of Leicestershire. Seeing the enjoyment people get from them is definitely one of the best parts of the job!
Inspiring reminiscence through objects
‐ Alison Clague. Senior Curator. Leicestershire County Council
Objects inspire memories and having explored treasured items from the ladies’ homes, the team arranged a special visit to the County’s Collections Resources Centre. The Collections team enabled the group to look at and handle textiles and objects from the 1960s and 70s, triggering lots of memories and stories about their lives and experiences.
“Our milk was bought from a person on a bike. Milk had to be boiled twice a day. The milk churn reminds me of making butter, yogurt, and ghee and all the paneer recipes we used.”
“The raffia hand bag reminds me of one of my sari’s which was embroidered with raffia”.
“I was a joiner for sleeves at Mansfield Hosiery factory when I came to England. The Laura Ashley dress reminded me of how I worked from home joining sleeves when my mother in law was ill.”
Exploring how heritage connects people
The Anand Mangal ladies took part in the DoYouSeeWhatISee? project. This was another powerful catalyst for reminiscence. We supported them to re-interpret and re-write labels for a museum object that they had the most powerful connection to. They also shared stories about their own personal objects of significance for the ‘People’s Gallery’.
They shared objects that had been bought and made for them and by them, jewellery which had been given as gifts, photos of family members, passport photos from India, Africa and the UK and lots of textiles: clothing from special occasions, bought and made by special people and from special places.