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Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010
Help tell the History of the World

A History of the World
You can also submit items from your own collection to the website

The BBC and the British Museum have joined forces in an original and unprecedented public service partnership, focusing on world history.

Throughout 2010, BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a programme called A History Of The World In 100 Objects, and other projects will coincide across the BBC.

As part of the project, each BBC local radio station throughout England has chosen ten historical items from museums in their patch.

These are items which reflect life in the county where you live.

Viewers to the A History of the World website will also be able to upload items of interest from their own personal collection. It is hoped that this will build up a great archive of our history.

If you click on the A History of the World website you will find all the instructions you need to upload details of your own object.

A History of Beds, Herts and Bucks in 10 Items

Beds, Herts and Bucks has many museums, all of which have items that reflect life across the whole of our region. With the help of these museums, 10 items have been selected which have a significant historical story to tell.

Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform by Ebenezer Howard Garden City Heritage Museum, Letchworth

Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform

What Ebenezer Howard put into this 1898 publication (later reprinted as Garden Cities of Tomorrow) resulted in the creation of Letchworth, Welwyn and Hampstead. Within a few years, the Garden City that Howard dreamt of would be a global phenomenon.

Fourdrinier Paper-Making Machine
Apsley Paper Trail

The Fourdrinier paper-making machine was the first mechanised papermaking machine in the world. Making mass-produced paper, this remarkable machine meant that paper became accessible to the masses and not just the wealthy.

Mr Hasan's Waistcoat
Museums Luton

Mr Nazair Hasan of Luton donated a delicately embroidered, fine silk muslin waistcoat and tunic to Museums Luton. The family believe these clothes were worn by Mr Hasan's grandfather around 1850. The clothes were worn on special occasions or when performing Court duties and the tunic was dipped in the Holy water of Zam Zam when his Grandfather performed the Hajj.

Wycombe Pitt Chair
Wycombe Museum

The Wycombe Pitt Chair
The Wycombe Pitt Chair

The Wycombe Pitt Chair is an early example of a Windsor chair from the Chilterns region. Unusually for a chair like this we know who made it - John Pitt of Upton cum Chalvely (now part of Slough) in the 1740s. It is decorated with the Coat of Arms of the City of Bath. Probably someone important connected with the city ordered this chair while travelling on the main London to Bath route.

Folly Lane Burial
Verulamium Museum (St Albans Museums)

The Folly Lane burial is the most complete burial of its type. Dating from AD55, the burial is that of a British chieftain who kept on good terms with the Romans. It was a remarkable find as the chieftain was buried alongside many goods including evidence of ivory imports and the only complete mail armour suit from this time in the country.

Bert Trautmann's Neck Brace
Hitchin Museum & Art Gallery

Bert Trautmann broke his neck in the 1856 Cup Final

Bert Trautmann was the first German player for a major side following the end of the Second World War. The goalkeeper for Manchester City, Trautmann had to wear this neck brace after he broke his neck in the 1956 FA cup final. He'd dived for the ball and collided with another player's knee, knocking himself out, but continued playing with the injury to the end of the game. This was part of the collection of the Hitchin Football Museum, the first of its kind in the world. It is now on loan to the National Museum of Football in Preston.

The Colossus
Bletchley Park Trust

The world's first computer is at Bletchley Park, the secret code-breaking site of the Second World War, where significant volumes of enemy coded messages were de-coded. The work done at Bletchley is now recognised as having shortened the war by at least two years with the saving of many lives. The code breakers also developed hugely advanced code breaking technologies including the construction of the world's first computer 'Colossus'.

Roald Dahl's Sandal
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

This leather sandal, of traditional Norwegian design, was owned and worn by the famous children's author Roald Dahl. It played an important role in the way his book, The BFG, was finally illustrated. Quentin Blake, who illustrated the book, was inspired to change the heavy black boots he'd drawn to the scrappy sandals the giant wears.

Western Stage Coach
Museums Luton

The stage coach has been used in several films

A replica of the Wells Fargo Overland Stage coach, used in America during the mid-1800s gold rush, was built in Spain for spaghetti westerns and other films and is in the style of coaches made by Abbot-Downing and Co. This vehicle was used in the 1966 film Carry On Cowboy starring Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Jim Dale.

Bedford Museums

This decanter was made in 1865 to the design of gothic revivalist William Burges (1827- 1881) and is a wonderful example of the adaptation of the exotic. This tankard has, as its handle, a knife Burges collected whilst travelling in the East. It's also encrusted with classical intaglios and other objects that he collected, turning into a sort of modern reliquary.

How to get involved

You can suggest your own object for inclusion on the website, and instructions on how to do this are here.

Listen to BBC Three Counties Radio to hear the presenters talking about the objects they'll be uploading, and see all of the objects people from the Three Counties are uploading here:

A History of the World - Dance Card
22 Jan 10 |  History


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