Wakefield’s museum treasures take part in Great Exhibition of the North

13/06/2018, PR8822

​Seven objects from Wakefield Council's museums' collection will have pride of place in a new online project, which is part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

A liquorice stamp

A History of the North in 100 Objects' showcases the pioneering spirit and impact of the North of England's inventors, artists, scientists and designers and was launched on 13 June 2018. 


An interactive website has been specially created where these fascinating objects can be viewed: www.100objectsnorth.co.uk.


Cllr Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council,  said: "We are thrilled to have objects from all four of our museums included in this exciting landmark project. All the objects are currently on display in our museums and will be clearly labelled as being part of A History of the North in 100 Objects, so people can view them online and then come to the museums and see them in person.


"This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of our treasures to a world-wide audience."

Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport

The featured objects are:


At Castleford Museum,

  • A chariot burial from 200BC. This rare find was excavated at Ferrybridge Henge and taught us lots about Iron Age culture and travel.
  • Jack Hulme's photography - a unique, honest record of industrial Yorkshire by the former colliery worker cum hairdresser and amateur photographer, who made extraordinary art out of everyday life in the mid Twentieth Century.

    At Pontefract Castle,
  • A Civil War siege coin, illustrating the resilience of the Royalist community at the besieged castle, who created their own infrastructures and currency whilst cut off from outside society.

    At Pontefract Museum,
  • A ballot box from the 1872 by-election in Pontefract, the first UK parliamentary election by secret ballot - a defining moment in British political history.
  • Dunhill's liquorice stamp used to make the iconic Pontefract Cake and representing the world-famous local liquorice industry.

    At Wakefield Museum,
  • A rhubarb splitting tool - celebrating the Rhubarb Triangle and the forced rhubarb industry, which is unique to our region and holds the same designated origin protection as champagne.
  • The highly rare and collectable Astral Navigations LP released by Holyground Records, the UK's first indie record label, founded in Wakefield in 1966.

    Website visitors will be able to select from the 100 objects to curate their own digital exhibitions that they can share via social media.


    People can also vote for their favourite exhibitions and the most popular will be displayed prominently on the website.


    A key feature of Great Exhibition of the North, A History of the North in 100 Objects is also intended to act as a legacy for the Exhibition, as the website will be kept live for the foreseeable future.


    The project is funded by the National Lottery and developed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM).

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