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Browne’s Hospital museum needs model for almshouse trousers after completion of stained glass project

The search is on for a ‘male model’ to wear a uniform once synonymous with Stamford.

Browne’s Hospital has a range of items in its archive, including the uniform worn by the almshouse men of Browne’s Hospital in Broad Street.

And while some exhibits dating back to the founding of the almshouses in 1475 are on display to the public, the full outfit, which dates from about 1828, cannot be properly seen because the museum doesn’t have a full mannequin to fit the clothing.

Mayor of Stamford and trustee of Browne's Hospital Andy Croft, and curator David Wallington
Mayor of Stamford and trustee of Browne's Hospital Andy Croft, and curator David Wallington

“He have the head and torso, and can display the boots, but we haven’t been able to put on the trousers, said David Wallington, curator of Browne’s Hospital.

“The uniform would fit a model that is about my height – 5ft 10ins – and we could even use the legs of a female mannequin. Once they are covered it wouldn’t matter.”

The project to catalogue and display items at Browne’s Hospital archive and museum has been overseen by David, and a grant from the Association of Independent Museums has been awarded to help with this.

One of the Browne's Hospital stained glass windows
One of the Browne's Hospital stained glass windows

It follows the completion of a project to install protective glass to preserve one of the town’s finest decorations – the stained glass chapel windows at Browne’s.

The medieval glass had been exposed to the elements and trustees were keen to find a away to protect it for future generations to admire.

In 2017 they enlisted the help of York Preservation Trust, which recommended installing plain external glazing to shield the 15th Century work of ‘John the glazier’.

This, along with extensive cleaning of the original panes, was carried out by Barley Studios of York from autumn last year until this summer.

The project cost £120,000, a significant proportion of which was covered by grants.

The museum at Browne’s Hospital is open on Saturdays, and on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons until the end of September, with details available at: www.browneshospital.co.uk/visit-and-contact

Anyone who can donate a mannequin for the display of the almshouse clothing can contact David by emailing curator@browneshospital.co.uk or phoning 07721 343618.

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