Work & Play

Daventry Museum’s collection is built around the sharing of stories, stories of people’s lives, inhabitants of the town who have shared not just their stories but the items from their lives that have meant something to them. These stories then shape the town’s history and naturally relate to the wider world. This idea of ‘global citizenship’ is something that the museum explores with it’s collaboration with The Earth Museum.

A large part of the museum’s collection is social history. It reflects the working life and social life of the town’s inhabitants through the ages; elements of everyday life that are intertwined and as evidenced by the collection working life often leads to the social life – work and play. The collection houses items from modern industry such as shoe-making at Stead & Simpsons and all manner of bearings made at the Timkens Factory. Factories like Stead and Simpson and Timken had sports teams, work outings and entertainments for workers and their families, as the Cummins corporation still do to this day.

There are many toys, retail and domestic life items within the collection, a large selection of which can be seen in the Daventry Trader’s display at the museum.

The Cabinet of Curiosities area in the museum’s entrance hall also has a good many pieces that show the breadth of interests, stories and histories about the town. This large silver cup for instance was the Daventry Charity Cup competed for by the Northamptonshire Imperial Yeomanry at their Annual Musketry Training from 1904 – 1913.  After WWI the cup was used for charitable purposes and became known as “Trophy of the Daventry Cup Football Competition”. Northampton Nomads were the first winners of the trophy in 1921-22.