‘Schooner approaching the harbour’ – Compton Verney

Compton Verney in Warwickshire has one of the finest collections of folk art in the UK. In this episode Director Julie Finch tells me why ‘Schooner approaching the harbour’ by Alfred Wallis, which is painted on a tea tray, is a piece of folk art that particularly resonates with her during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

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Two smocks – The MERL

When you’re asked to imagine an iconic item of clothing the humble smock probably doesn’t come to mind. However, in this episode, Dr Ollie Douglas, Curator at The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), convinces me as to the importance of the smock to English identity.

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A patera – The Roman Baths, Bath

In this episode, Zofia Matyjaszkiewicz, who is the Collections Assistant at the Roman Baths in Bath, tells me why a patera – a shallow libation bowl – is her underrated object at this world-famous site.

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Axminster carpet – Harewood House

This episode of Past Matters should encourage visitors to England’s finest stately homes to look down as well as up for future visits, as Assistant Curator and Archivist at Harewood House, Becky Burton, describes the significance of a grand Axminster carpet for social standing.

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Christmas 2019 special: Torcheres – Apsley House (with added bonus audio)

Apsley House (also known as No.1 London) is the home of the Dukes of Wellington and for the first time has extended its opening times to the 22nd December 2019 and decorated the house in 1840s style Christmas decorations. Visitors can therefore experience this already beautiful building as it may have looked for a Georgian Christmas. It therefore seemed fitting to feature one of the Christmas special episodes here.

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What I’ve learned from setting up my own podcast

Earlier this year I set up a podcast series, Past Matters, which asks museums, galleries and historic houses what their most underrated items are. Prior to that, I set up a podcast series Millennials Now, where I interviewed millennials on the direction life had taken them now that this ‘snowflake’ generation had grown up.

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