Museum to celebrate a forgotten Horsham industry

SUS-150924-105504001

SUS-150924-105504001

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The quiet picturesque backwater that is Horsham’s Causeway was once the home of a thriving industry that used animal bones as its key tool.

Lying next to the church some 500-600 years ago there was a busy industry churning out metal pins and needles for possibly the town’s leather trades or for skilled craftsmen and women in the surrounding area and booming London.

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SUS-150924-105453001

This forgotten trade, silent in the documents was only discovered when houses were built in the Vicarage Garden.

Years after the archaeological excavation, Horsham District Council’s Horsham Museum & Art Gallery were recently given the finds and have put the animal bones on public display.

The bones, stained green and brown have grooves cut in them used to draw the wire through to shape the pins.

Along with the amazing relics of a forgotten Horsham industry, the museum has managed to create space to show off a diverse range of Horsham souvenir ware.

These small white glazed items with the town crest were collected in their thousands by tourists who came to the town on market and fair days in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.

Why someone would want a miniature coal scuttle with a crest of Horsham, leaves today’s visitor perplexed, but not the Edwardian collector.

With over 40 such items and other late 19th and early 20th century town souvenirs on display it makes for an unusual and intriguing show.

The new displays compliment and add to the very popular Horsham room, enabling the museum to showcase other parts of the Horsham story including 17th century trade tokens, issued by the town traders when there was a shortage of money, through to a hat brush, something every Edwardian gentleman needed emblazoned with the proprietor’s shop.

Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is open Monday-Saturday 10-5pm. Admission free.

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