Share your memento

Sharing the everyday things we treasure

Do you have a favourite memento?

We all have keepsakes that we find meaning in; a souvenir from an unforgettable childhood holiday, an heirloom handed down through generations, a cherished personal photograph or a favourite toy given as a gift.

This exhibition delves into the stories behind the precious things we keep. Explore the different themes, each of which reveals unique items from the Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service and Stoke on Trent City Archives collections.

We would love to hear about your ‘Meaningful Mementoes’. You can share them with us by filling in the form on the website or by using #MeaningfulMementoes.

Heirloom

Queen Victoria’s boot?

Leather boot made by Peach & Co. Shoemakers, Stafford.
Heirloom

Watercolour portrait

It was painted in around 1825 and was small enough to be carried around as a close memento.
Personal

Scout hiking certificate

This certificate was awarded to Stephen Ellerton of the 26th Burton-on-Trent Venture Unit ‘B Team’ for completing an ‘arduous route’ in 2 hours 2 minutes in November 1980.
Souvenir

Trentham Gardens and Alton Towers souvenir brochure

The photographs in this 1985 souvenir brochure recall the rides and appearance of these two local attractions.
Heirloom

Library bell

This bell from the William Salt Library was used to summon the Librarian or other members of staff in the library.
Personal

Moses Basket and Stand, 2001

This Moses basket and wooden stand in the museum collection was purchased for the arrival of baby Eleanor Copp in Stone.
Personal

Hand-held slide viewer

During the 1960s and 1970s many cameras used slide film.
Souvenir

Swiss stamps

Two stamps sent from Switzerland (‘Helvetia’) in the later 19th century.
Gift

Latvian farewell card

Kathleen Walton
This farewell card was made by a group of Latvian students in 1946 for a local lady called Kathleen Walton.
Personal

Falkland Islands radio

This battery-operated radio was purchased by Captain Maggie Barclay when she was serving on the Falkland Islands during the ceasefire which followed the conflict in 1982.
Personal

A Box of Meaningful Mementoes

A collection of keepsakes and souvenirs by members of the Whitehouse family, from Sedgley
Heirloom

Christening teapot

Mrs Hall
This very large white teapot from the mid 19th century is decorated with an ornate raised pattern and a pewter lid ornamented with an eagle.
Souvenir

Souvenir badge

This little badge was bought as a souvenir of a trip to Lichfield Cathedral in the 1980s.
Gift

Wool winder

Mrs Platt
This wool winder is hand made. Mr Platt of Codsall Wood made it from mahogany for his wife to use, around the turn of the 20th century.
Heirloom

Cannock Soldiers’ Club Visitors’ book and certificate

This visitor’s book was brought in during summer 2021.
Souvenir

The Pyramids

This period photograph of the world-famous pyramids in Egypt was brought back as a souvenir by a wealthy traveller towards the end of the 19th century.
Personal

Purse and pocketbook

A note accompanying these two items states that the purse belonged to the writer’s mother, and the pocketbook (wallet) belonged to their father.
Gift

Homemade Wooden Toys

Shelia Bloor
Sheila's father, Ernest, was a cabinet maker. He made her a whole range of toys out of wood, probably off-cuts and spare pieces from his workshop
Souvenir

Diamond jubilee souvenir programme

Recording a happy day full of events and activities in Mucklestone.
Gift

Cigarette Dispenser

Ivor Farr
This unusual and unique object was a retirement present for Ivor Farr.  It is a cigarette dispenser made by his colleagues at English Electric Co., Stafford.
Personal

A Bear with no name

This little teddy bear is a bear with no name
Souvenir

A seaside souvenir

Dated 1821, this watercolour sketch by Georgina Moncrieff recalls a visit to the seaside.
Souvenir

A pageant to remember

‘The Grand March Past’ recalls the Stafford Pageant, held in 1913 to mark 1000 years since the town was founded.
Souvenir

A wartime souvenir postcard

This view along Penkridge Bank on Cannock Chase was taken during World War I.
Personal

Subbuteo

Chris Copp
Just about the only items I have kept from my childhood are my Subbuteo table football teams and accessories. 
Souvenir

A sprig of ivy

This piece of ivy was plucked from the walls of the Chateau de Lucheux in Northern France by Lance Corporal John Turner.
Personal

Good Shepherd medallion

This cast metal medallion, showing Jesus as the ‘Good Shepherd’, comes from an assortment of objects gathered as special keepsakes.
Souvenir

Preserved in paint

This watercolour sketch preserves the memory of a trip to Wales in 1876.
Gift

Golden testimonial

Presentation book by the parishioners of Burton St Modwen to Revd Herbert Bentley Freeman and Mrs Freeman, on his leaving the parish and rural deanery in 1924, to become Canon Residentiary of Bristol Cathedral.
Heirloom

Handwritten recipe

Often recipes are treasured heirlooms that are passed down through generations. This recipe is from a handwritten recipe book from Stone, from 1890.
Personal

Police Constable Joseph Eastbury

This photograph of the Eastbury family was taken in 1909. Joseph Eastbury married Beatrice Davies at Leigh, Staffordshire in 1905.
Heirloom

Librarian’s chair

The Librarian was responsible for the collection and the chair remains as a memento of this role.
Souvenir

Dance or ‘Engagement’ cards

Dating from a military ball held in 1886 and another at Strathtay in 1887.
Heirloom

Alfred Ernest Haywood

Ajay Tegala
Photograph of Chief Fire Officer for Stafford, Alfred Ernest Haywood, 1930s
Souvenir

Cine camera, 1930s

Miss Keates
This Kodak Eight Model 20 cine camera dates from around 1935 and still has its original box.
Gift

Embroidered Pincushion

This item is often known as a Sweetheart Pincushion. These were often made by wounded soldiers as they recovered in hospital and were sent home to wives, mothers and loved ones as a token of affection.
Souvenir

Grafton Fine China

What's a holiday without a little souvenir to take home?
Personal

Tressy doll

Carole Startin
Sindy and Tressy were extremely popular fashion dolls in the 1960s and 1970s.
Personal

Badge from a scrapbook

This embroidered badge was worn by members of a football team on a special occasion.
Gift

A tragic bookmark

This handstitched bookmark, with its message ‘May we meet in heaven’ took on a particularly poignant meaning in hindsight.
Personal

Wedding shoes

Rosalind Shipsides
Wedding shoes may be something that we may keep but never wear again.
Personal

R.A.F. handbooks

Tony Green
These handbooks and information leaflets form part of a much larger collection of letters and diaries belonging to Ronald F. Green of Armitage.
Heirloom

Letter referring to the Pendrell Grant

Letter sent from the office of Inge & Son of Lichfield, who administered the Pendrell Grant, to a schoolgirl called Ann.
Heirloom

Victorian photograph albums

The pages from these photograph albums belonged to the Blaggs and Masefield families of the Cheadle solicitors firm Blagg Son & Masefield.
Personal

Tennis trophy

Personal or team sporting achievements are often marked with the presentation of a trophy to the winner.
Gift

A Bottle of Rum

This small glass bottle has a handwritten label which reads "Rum given to earl St. Vincent by  the Portugese Government after the Battle of Cape St. Vincent 14 February 1797"
Souvenir

Decorative menu

This menu, from a dinner and ball held at Marlborough House, dates from 1874.
Souvenir

Souvenir banknotes and tickets

A collection of banknotes, postage currency and ticket stubs.
Souvenir

Freda the Great Dane

Freda, the Harlequin Great Dane was a beloved mascot of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade based at Brocton Camp during the First World War.
Heirloom

Coronation medal, 1911

Produced in Sedgley to mark the coronation of George V, medals of this type were often presented to local people (especially children) to commemorate the occasion.
Gift

Charles I’s Cap

This red silk cap is elaborately decorated with gold and silver thread work. It dates from the 1630s and belonged to King Charles I.
Heirloom

Chetwynd family suitcase

This suitcase probably dates from the 1940s or 1950s.
Personal

Brownie uniform

Gemma Pearson
Gemma Pearson joined the Great Haywood Brownies in 1986.
Personal

Dancing shoes

Mrs Colbeck
Covered in black silk these evening shoes were worn with a full-length cream chiffon evening dress decorated with orange and silver beads on the shoulders and belt.
Heirloom

Pendrell grant

The grant was made to the Pendrell brothers who helped Charles II escape after the battle of Worcester.
Souvenir

Roof boss

Ben
This replica church roof boss decoration shows three hares or ‘Tinner’s Rabbits’, a popular motif in the West Country.
Heirloom

Eighteenth century Scottish sampler

Bridget Perkin
Hand made sampler completed in Scotland in 1785.
Souvenir

Postcard from a Passion play

This postcard, showing ‘The Last Supper’ scene from the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany.
Heirloom

1639 King James Bible

Bridget Perkin
Bible from Prussia belonging to the Mangelsdorff family who changed their name to Shaw in 1917.
Personal

Photographs of Kathleen Bailey

Mel
I found a box under her bed that belonged to her mother. Inside it had photographs of my Grandma as a little girl.
Personal

Scout badges

Mr Thomas
In the Scout movement learning new skills or developing knowledge about a particular subject was rewarded by gaining a badge which was then sewn proudly on to the arm of your uniform.
Personal

Hartshill Road Letters

Stoke-on-Trent City Archives
Between 1944 and 1946 Cuthbert Chambers of Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, wrote a series of weekly "newsletters" to his daughters
Heirloom

Granny’s teapot

This was given to my mum by a very old friend who referred to it as ‘Granny’s teapot’.
Personal

Tin of memories

We don’t know who owned this tin of personal belongings.
Gift

Chinese red envelopes

These envelopes were donated by a member of the Chinese community in Stafford after a local Chinese New Year event in 2018.
Heirloom

Victorian writing box

Joanna
I was watching The Repair Shop recently when one of the items featured was a ‘ditty box’; a naval box for storing personal items.
Souvenir

A motoring holiday in Scotland

This typed account dates from July 1931 and recalls a couple’s recent motoring holiday.
Gift

Deed of gift

Stoke-on-Trent City Archives
On the 19th December 1890 a deed of gift "of a piece of land in the Parish of Trentham" was made by the Duke of Sutherland to the trustees of Longton Cottage Hospital.
Heirloom

Swiss cottage music box

Helen
This was probably a souvenir from a holiday to the Alps.
Personal

Polaroid camera

Ivor Farr
For many of us the best way to capture a memory of an event or a person is through a photograph
Heirloom

Birthday afternoon tea for one

Laura
I spent my birthday on my own in 2020 because of lockdown (possibly the first one ever). It was not lonely surrounded by the things that belonged to some very special ladies and great influences on me.
Heirloom

Royal Doulton Dolls

In the photograph you can see the leaflets, brochures, and certificates that helped publicise the Heirloom Dolls range.