The Museum collections at Experience Barnsley span thousands of years and provide us with fascinating glimpses of life in the borough of Barnsley.

From wartime wedding dresses to Barnsley FC memorabilia, a sedan chair to Yoda, the objects tell all sorts of stories of home, work and play. We’re working hard to create more content for you to view here, but in the meantime please take a look at some collections highlights below.

Egyptian design tin, Barnsley Canister Company

This is one of dozens of colourful and characterful tins from the Canister Company in Barnsley's collections.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.18


Read our Tins Tins Tins blog

Image of Egyptian design tin

Teapot, cup and strainer, 20th century

As well as the right tools and equipment for mining, it was important to keep refreshed.  This lovely red tin set was taken to the pit every day by the donor's father.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.206.207.208


Listen to an audio description 

Image of teapot, cup and strainer, 20th century

Albert Hirst bicycle, 20th century

Barnsley Master Butcher Albert Hirst is credited with the creation of the 'Barnsley Chop', a special dish serviced to HRH the Prince of Wales when he opened Barnsley Town Hall in 1933.But every company needs transport, and this bicycle made many deliveries.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.626

Listen to an audio description

Image of Albert Hirst Bicycle, 20th century

Christmas paper, 20th century

By the Barnsley British Co-operative Society. Not only was the Co-op a great place to buy presents, but the wrapping paper was perfectly festive too. 

Reference number: BMBC.TH.350


Read our Christmas blog 

Image of Christmas paper

Bronze Age bronze spearhead, 1400-1000 BC

Town Edge Quarries, Crow Edge, Penistone. Barnsley holds a small but fascinating collection of prehistoric archaeology, showing the long history of human habitation in the borough.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.1361


Read more about our archaeological collections 

Image of Bronze Age bronze spearhead

Goblin Teasmade, 1960s

The first electric teasmade was created in the 1930s, but the teamaking machines really had their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.  Goblin were the major manufacturer and first used the word 'teasmade' as a trademark. 

Reference number: BMBC.TH.338


Read our Time For Tea blog

Image of a Goblin Teasmade

Identity badges, early 1940s

Two metal identity badges from Dachau Concentration Camp. These badges belonged to Stanley Zasada, a Polish Catholic imprisoned in Dachau during the Second World War.  When the camp was liberated, Mr Zasada joined the Polish Army and eventually came to the Polish camp at Cawthorne.  He settled in Barnsley and worked in the mines as an engineer.

Reference number: A.2173.027

Image of identity badges

Pit head bath soap

Treasured by many, a bar of soap and a bath at the pit head after a shift would have made a great impact on the lives of miners and their families. Many baths were built in the 1930s and meant that miners could clean up straight after finishing work rather than stay in dirty and damp clothes all the way home, until they could get in their own tin bath

Reference number: BMBC.TH.488

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Underpants, c.1970

The 'St Michael' label on these children's underpants may have assured the shopper of quality, but would the nylon material have assured of comfort?  These vivid colours cannot fail to remind people of the particular style of the era.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.401.402

Image of two pairs of underpants

Linen glass cloth, c.1900

On each red band of this cloth is printed 'Barnsley Linen / GLASS CLOTH / Barnsley Linen'. Alongside coal and glass, linen was a big industry for Barnsley until it began to decline in the mid-19th century. This example shows that superior quality linen was still being made in 1900 and is still valued as a treasure today.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.004

Image of a linen glass cloth

Brooch, c.1950

Flower shaped brooch made from green and lilac netting with central diamante circular jewel. This is one of several pieces in a collection of jewellery belonging to Eva Burnett, a ballroom dancer from Barnsley.

Reference number: BMBC.TH.198.3

Image of a broach

Knitted peaked hat

This hat was worn by Stan Richards in almost every scene he played as 'Seth Armstrong' in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. 

Reference number: BMBC.TH.424

Image of a knitted peaked hat