Sealing Fate: The art and etiquette of letter sealing

I am going to be talking all things seals from the humble envelope to the more elaborate wax seals. The above is a circular medieval seal found on St Botolph’s Road. A seal matrix is used for making an impression on a wax seal, to authenticate a document or to keep it closed. They were […]

Recollecting the Collector

Michael de Koningh grew up in the Bat and Ball area of Sevenoaks in the 1960s and 70s, and never moved far from the area after leaving his childhood home and getting married. When Michael sadly passed away in 2016, he left behind a multifaceted legacy and a large collection of stuff to go with […]

Door to the Past

Close up of Victorian jail door

In this post we are talking about all things Doors, so ‘break on through to the other side’ and get a sneak peek of some interesting objects from the collection store… Miniature picture frame A quaint souvenir of Sevenoaks past, made from a piece of the oak door sill from 90 High Street. The frame […]

Artist Vincent New

Vincent New was born in Bromley. As a teenager, just after the First World War, he was sent to work on a farm in Australia, but as soon as he could he returned to England to pursue his creative ambitions. New began studying at Bromley School of Art in 1925, whilst managing a seven-acre poultry […]

New acquisition

Pair of eider ducks

What the duck? Sevenoaks Museum does not typically collect taxidermy, yet these eider ducks have found a home here because of their connection to a significant family and location in our town. They were donated by the Harrison Institute for biodiversity research. The institute was originally founded by Dr James Harrison in 1930 as a […]

New acquisition

‘Donald Double’ This teddy bear was recently gifted to the museum. It is the only teddy bear in the Sevenoaks collection. Donald Double, so the handwritten label in his flat cap calls him, was given to his owner Margaret Terry Double as a young child. She was born in 1925, when her parents lived in […]

New acquisition

19th century letter The museum recently received a small collection from the Sevenoaks Society. One of the items was this handwritten letter, dated 1832, from a Henri Martin in Stepney East London to a Mr Bowrer, ‘Overseer’, in Sevenoaks. The ‘T.P’ stamped above the word ‘Stepney’ stands for Twopenny Post, the charge for postage. The […]

Holidays at Home

Due to the global pandemic, tens of thousands of UK customers had their overseas travel plans cancelled in 2020. As the national lockdown is lifted, people are expected to make more holiday plans within the UK, or take a ‘staycation’. Leisure travel of any kind was once an exclusive activity, and day trips were more […]

Museum Make: WW2 gas mask

Follow the instructions on this video to make a gas mask using household items. Watch until the end to find out more about this object.

Rebuilding Britain: Post war Prefabs

Coronation party outside temporary prefabs on Dynes Road, Kemsing, 1953. Courtesy of Ed Thompson, Otford Historical Society.

At the end of the Second World War in 1945, focus shifted from defending to rebuilding Britain. Many homes had been destroyed in bombing raids, and government action was required to deal with this desperate housing shortage. Whilst long term plans were being made, a solution came in the form of prefabricated houses. Prefab houses […]

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