This short spear was found covered in rags at Sandford Orleigh School. It is believed to be a spear belonging to Sir Samuel Baker who lived in the house for many years with his wife. Sir Samuel Baker was a famous explorer who discovered one of the sources of the River Nile. It is possible that he brought this spear back from Africa with him. The spear is 131cm high and consists of: Striped wooden shaft and the metal spear head bound together. As well as the large spear head, it also has four metal barbs. This item was donated to the museum after it was discovered at Sandford Orleigh and is dated to the Victorian Age.
Aller Vale Pottery Charger
As a young boy Charles Collard showed a keen interest in art so it was perhaps natural that he should seek work at one of the local potteries when he left school. He started as an apprentice at Aller Vale in 1886 when he was twelve years old, learning all the pottery skills as well as developing his artistic talents in the Cottage Art Schools. Some of Collard’s decorations of scrolls, cherubs, dolphins and mythical beasts show Italian influences. Collard’s favourite patterns, though, were based on Isnik designs as can be seen on his apprentice mug and the large charger.
In 2007 the museum was given probably one of the most extraordinary objects in the collection- a hair rope made into a swing for local girl Maud Albrighton ! Maud lived next to the Rope Walk in East Street. She had very strong, long hair. The Rope makers suggested that they could make a rope out of it after she had her hair cut, and here she is swinging on it in the 1920s! It measures 235 cm long with a diameter of 5 cms!
Napoleon III Coin
This five franc coin, dated1868, was discovered by a dog walker in 2003. He was walking his dog in Bakers Park and at a bend in the River Lemon he noticed something shining in the shingle of the river bed, he bent down to pick it up and to his surprise pulled out a large French coin in perfect condition! He kindly donated the coin to the museum for the collection-unfortunately we shall never know how it got there! The coin is signed by Barre who was the Chief Engraver of the Paris Mint, he was an engraver and medallist, he also produced the engravings for French stamps. Albert Desire Barre inherited his position as Chief Engraver at his father’s death in 1855. Napoleon III was the nephew and heir of Napoleon 1, son of Hortense Bonaparte. Napoleon was exiled and lived in England, during this time he visited Exeter and Bath and went on holiday to Torquay where he stayed at the Imperial hotel. It must have been during this time that he was seen at Newton Abbot Station. Napoleon died in 1873. He held the distinction of being the first elected President and the last Monarch of France.
Newton Five Pound Note
This ‘Newton Bank Five Pound Note’ was printed on the 20th March 1841. The holes in the centre of the note marked that it was cancelled. Newton Bank was taken over by Capital and Countries Bank in 1891 which was then in turn taken over by Lloyds bank in 1918. This note is considerably larger than our modern day notes and seems to be for a specific person rather than to simply ‘the bearer.’ Notes in the 1800’s were seen more like a postal order or cheque than the notes which we use today.
Relic of blood-sports
Within the museum collection are a pair of steel cock-fighting spurs. They could date from the late 18th century or the early 19th century. The sport of Cock fighting was socially acceptable during the 18th century and common in all countryside areas. The blood-sport was first mentioned as entertainment in 1646. Cock-fighting was banned in England and Wales with the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835.
1988.706 Roman lamp found in Southlands Highweek garden
Silver Spoon 1901
This elegant silver spoon was donated to the museum many years ago and is dated to 1901. The spoon commemorated the joining of the Urban District of Newton Abbot and the Highweek local board which was demonstrated by the coats of arms shown at the top of the spoon. Considering its age the spoon is in extremely good condition and very detailed.
This large silver commemorative bone handled trowel is engraved: “Presented to the P F Sparke Evans on the occasion of his laying the memorial stone of the New Congreational Church, Newton Abbot. March 18th 1875” The trowel was donated to the museum by the Elders of United Reform Church, Newton Abbot. The high level of detail on the engraving and the excellent condition in which it has been left make this an important artefact.
Station Masters Hat
This hat belonged to the station master of Heathfield station. It is made of black felt with gold braid on the peak. The gentleman’s title of ‘Station Master’ is embroidered in gold lettering. The hat is stamped as British Rail and was made in 1960. The high detail of the embroidering on the uniform shows the importance of the railway and all staff. Uniforms were well made and of good quality. Station masters Hat
Uranium Candyware Jug
This Candyware jug was made at Candy & Co at Heathfield in the early 1930s. The bright orange coloured glaze is made from uranium! In addition to its medical properties radium became used in making watch and clock dials in the 1920s and 1930s. Vibrant colors of orange, yellow, red, green, blue, black, mauve, were produced on tiles and other ceramic materials. Pure uranium oxide, which produces the red-orange glaze, is the most hazardous, although one would only be badly affected by it if one was exposed for hours on end, day after day. At present the pot is in store!
USA legacy of the WWII
These Field glasses were left behind at the US Army Medical Base at Stover. Once known as Stover Camp. They are stamped Optical Company Rochester New York USA. The Headmistress of Stover School told a story of how during the WWII how very responsible she felt for the girls at the school, while all the young US soldiers were camping in the school grounds. One morning she drew back the curtains and found that they had all disappeared over night, they had departed for the D-day landings. There have been all sorts of legends in connection with the US Army equipment in the past, of how the Army buried Harvey Davidson motorbikes in a hurry as the Army departed …no one, as far as we know, has found any!