Reminiscence boxes

New Reminiscence boxes - available for loan

We are very proud to announce that we have a new series of Reminiscence boxes now available to borrow.

With the support of both our Health Improvement team and Museums Development Yorkshire, we have worked to provide a resource that can be used by care home staff and other people working with older people in Wakefield to facilitate the sharing of memories.

We now have six museum reminiscence boxes available for loan through the library service.The boxes contain a collection of multi-sensory objects, including photographs, smells and sounds. Most of the items are authentic, some are modern reproductions, but all of them can be handled.

The boxes are accompanied by suggested activities and advice to help care staff use the resources to provide a meaningful and enriching experience for older people, including object handling, sharing stories, talking and listening, as well as art activities such as poetry, music art and craft - with lots of hints and tips for best practice in reminiscence with different types of group.

We hope that these boxes will be of interest to people in:

  • Day Centres
  • Residential care homes
  • Sheltered housing
  • Hospital wards
  • Nursing Homes
  • Day Hospitals
  • Clubs
  • Dementia service social groups such as well-being cafes, forget me not cafes etc.
  • Libraries
  • Museums Adult Education Locations

The loan boxes are also flexible enough to be used as a stand-alone loan or as part of facilitated reminiscence sessions.

Within each box are suggested activities enabling the reminiscence to be tailored to the particular needs of any group. Participants with strong memories and good talking and listening skills will have the chance to do this, but for a group with weakening memories who might find activities dependent on remembering stressful, the focus will be more on the pleasures of the sensory experience of working with objects and creative activities.

The six boxes contain objects and photographs - many specific to the Wakefield district - from the 1950s through to the 1970s.


This box is themed around celebrations.It should trigger memories about: family celebrations, the changing seasons and seasonal celebrations, weddings, Christmas, Easter, Bonfire night and harvest festival celebrations.


This box is themed around early life and childhood.It should trigger memories about the homes and places people grew up in, schooldays, friendships, brothers and sisters, games, toys, books, comics, hobbies and group activities.

Entertainment and Leisure

This box is themed around entertainment and leisure.It should trigger memories about: going on day trips and holidays, going to the park, days at the seaside, staying with relatives, cinemas, music halls and theatres, dancing, music and dance bands, games and sporting event, hobbies, going to the races, pub or club, best clothes and motoring.

Working Life

This box is themed around working life. It should trigger memories about: leaving home, first jobs, travelling to work, being apprenticed, being promoted, learning new skills, working in mills, mines, shops and offices.

Home Life

This box is themed around home life.It should trigger memories about: setting up home, housework, cleaning, mending, darning and sewing, washing and going to the launderette, making clothes, gardening, decorating, friends and neighbours, shopping, cooking and illness and remedies.


​This box is themed around sports. It should trigger memories about the different sports people watch and play. From supporting your local rugby or football team to playing ping pong or cricket, and the sports we played at school to those we watch as an adult.

If you would like to borrow one of our new boxes, please contact the district's new dementia-friendly Airedale Library: 01977 724040 or email

Contact us

Libraries Services

Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

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01924 302 210