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Even if it is an old chamber pot, we still want your stuff; The Cardiff Story museum opens next year celebrating the city's vibrant communities. As part of an appeal for people to offer items to be exhibited, the museum's researchers tell CLARE HUTCHINSON about their personal favourites.


Jim Groves - a Cardiff City FC cremation casket: "WE bought this casket from a supplier after seeing a story about it in the Echo.

"I've chosen it because it is a contemporary object and demonstrates the fact that everything in a museum does not have to be old.

"In fact, we are looking for contemporary items like this which can tell a story about our modern city.

"This is, of course, also unique to Cardiff. As a City fan, I've donated a programme and a ticket for the last match at Ninian Park, but it is not just sporty items we are after.

"The city is constantly changing, especially with the St David's development, and we need to make sure we can record the modern city as it is today.

"So if you have a keepsake, or something you collected because you thought, 'it might not be here tomorrow', we would love to see it.

"It could be anything from a concert ticket to a piece of Ninian Park memorabilia.

Maybe you rescued something from an area due to be developed.

"We need these objects to tell the story about Cardiff in 100 years' time, when things will have changed."

Bethan Parry - a chamber pot: "THESE were usually called gazunders because they would 'go under' the bed.

"The donor said every house in Grangetown had them because there were no indoor toilets, and I'm sure it was the same story across Cardiff.

"He said: 'I was six or seven, it was my job to empty the gazunder from the whole house in the morning. You had to go down the stairs very care-fully so you didn't spill it.' "He continued: 'At the time we didn't think anything of it because everybody around your age would be doing the same job.' "I chose the gazunder because nowadays you wouldn't think anything of using the lavatory and flushing the chain but back then if you were six or seven it would have been likely that you would be responsible for emptying the whole household's gazunders.

"You might think it wouldn't be something we would be interested in, but it is just this kind of everyday household object we need for the new museum - even if it is a gazunder!

"These things have totally disappeared from daily life, but not very long ago they were normal, everyday items."

Rachel Carney - a gift box from an arcade shop: "THIS box came from a shop called Hayman, which was owned by a Mrs Hayman. It was a milliner's and dress maker's.

"It was in the Royal Arcade in 1904 and then moved around the city, finally ending up in Morgan's Arcade, the High Street and Royal Arcade.

"I like this box because it's much nicer than the mass produced plastic bags that we get nowadays, with an interesting picture of one of the arcades on the front.

"It was probably used in the 1920s or 1930s to wrap a small item of clothing, and has been kept all these years. It's also an important part of Cardiff's history, as the arcades are unique to this city.

"I'm doing some research about how shopping in Cardiff has changed, so if anyone has any stories or objects related to particular shops that they remember, then please contact us.

"We're looking for receipts, bags, items bought in or used in Cardiff shops and the memories that go with them. In particular I'd be interested in anything that relates to a draper's shop, an ironmonger's, a haberdasher, or any shops in the Royal Arcade."

CAN YOUR MEMENTOES HELP TO REVEAL ANY OF OUR CITY'S HISTORICAL STORY? YOUR everyday objects and the stories attached to them are wanted to help illustrate the history of Cardiff. The Echo is looking at different aspects of the Welsh capital's history as part of an appeal for objects for the city's new museum, to be called The Cardiff Story.

Due to open in the Old Library in The Hayes, Cardiff, next year, the museum aims to document the history of the city and its people: its transport, shops, work life, housing and diverse communities. If you can donate a keepsake or a trinket that helps to illustrate what life was like in Cardiff during bygone days, get in touch with The Cardiff Story team. It might be as small as a bus or cinema ticket, shop receipt, or a keepsake passed down through your family.

To donate an item contact the team on 029 2078 8334 or e-mail


Cardiff Museum curators with some of their favourite exhibits... from left, Jim Groves' Bluebirds cremation casket, Bethan Parry's chamber pot and Rachel Carney's arcade gift box
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 17, 2009
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