South Holland museum’s bid to help people with dementia

Rosie with one of the bygone age room settings. SG050816-101TW
Rosie with one of the bygone age room settings. SG050816-101TW
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A museum’s memory boxes will enable people in care homes or those suffering from dementia to touch familiar objects from the past.

The Museum of Technology, subtitled ‘The History of Gadgets and Gizmos’, re-opens on Thursday for the new season.

Joint founder Rosie Hourihane says a grant from Wryde Croft Wind Farm means the museum can furnish its community room and as soon as that’s done, invitations will go out to care homes and dementia groups.

All items in the memory boxes are genuine artefacts from the 1940s and ’50s.

Among the bits and pieces in boxes for women are foundation garments, such as girdles and liberty bodices, and men can refamiliarise themselves with pre-decimal coins, like the threepenny bit, and the ten bob note.

Once familiar smells also trigger memories, so items like carbolic soap and mothballs are included.

The museum, in South Eau Bank, Throckenholt, charts the history of technological breakthroughs from 1830 to 1980.

Rosie said: “Since opening in August 2016, we have had over 350 visitors. People love to see how the world worked before digital technology took over. Our visitors have a really good time remembering what they and their grandparents used to use.

“Life was a lot different when we used wind-up gramophones, watch TV on nine-inch screens, and used old pennies in ‘A&B’ phones.”

The museum opens 10am-4pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays to September 2. Admission is £5 adults, £2.50 for children and £3 for a memory box session for older people.

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