Charity Football cup

This large silver cup was originally a musket shooting trophy of the Northamptonshire Imperial Yeomanry. The first shield is dated 1904. When the Yeomanry disbanded in 1921 the cup was presented to the Borough Council for use as a sporting trophy and it became the Charity Football Cup. In both cases, if you wanted to get your hands on the trophy, you had… Read more »

Organist

Daventry-born Reginald John Foort was to become one of the most famous (and most recorded) theatre organists of all time. Working as a staff organist at the BBC, Foort went on to commission the Moller Organ Company in 1938 to create a travelling theatre organ that could be dismantled and taken on the road. With 2,000 pipes and weighing 30 tonnes, this was… Read more »

Diaries

Nearly everyone in Daventry knows about legendary character Christina (Tina) Margaret Winter who would regularly been seen around town, smoking her clay pipe or riding on her bright pink motorcycle (appropriately nicknamed “Pink Panther”). An integral member of the community, Tina left a suitcase packed with diaries that span decades of personal notes and commentary, including newspaper clippings and memorable jokes. As well… Read more »

Ave Maria brooch

This must have belonged to a wealthy local who lived in the 14th Century. Found at Ashby St Ledgers in 2009, it gives us a glimpse of who lived where we now do, what they were like and what was important to them.

Roundabouts

Daventry was ‘designed for growth’ by planners in the 1960s with orderly road networks and more than our fair share of roundabouts. A circular garden where one minds one’s manners, obeys the rules and takes one’s turn: it’s all very British.

Hoover

There’s nothing very Daventry about a Hoover, but this one used to play the radio. There are not many places where the radio signal was so strong that you could pick up the World Service on your toaster or vacuum cleaner in the town, but for generations that’s just what happened in Daventry.

Mantrap

Back in the day, you could take the law into your own hands and catch unwanted visitors with none other than a mantrap. Intended largely for surprising poachers and trespassers, mantraps were mechanical devices that would close around the villain’s feet, sometimes setting off an accompanying spring gun. In 1827 mantraps were declared illegal, though allowances for their use were made between sunset… Read more »

Charters

These royal charters give us fantastic insight into how Daventry’s town laws were passed centuries ago. The museum is lucky to hold four charters (two under the name of Queen Elizabeth I, one under James I and the other under Charles I). The charters gave Daventry the right to such actions as trading, holding town fairs, collecting taxes and electing officials. They were… Read more »

Gunpowder plot connections

Remember, remember the 5th of November? Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. Well, the very same plot was first concocted just outside Daventry, in the picturesque village of Ashby St Ledgers. In a room above the still surviving timbered gatehouse of a beautiful Tudor manor, the conspirators gathered together to plan the demise of King James I and the blowing up of the House of… Read more »

Train station

Daventry railway station opened in 1888 with much celebration and ceremony. It used to be located to the east of the town centre (roughly where the current McDonalds sits), and the railway ran down along Southway. The station itself was built largely from wood and provided important transport links for workers, school children and various goods. The engine servicing the passengers was called… Read more »