Letchworth's vintage loo roll needs your vote to flush out competition in Herts awards

PUBLISHED: 08:32 30 August 2019

An 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

An 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

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Letchworth's Garden City Collection is calling for votes to win the Hertfordshire Association of Museums award for Object of the Year with an 83-year-old toilet roll.

An 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage FoundationAn 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

The collection - based in the town's Wilbury Hills Road - is known for its comprehensive assortment of quirky and historical artefacts cataloguing the history and heritage of the town since its beginnings in 1903 as the world's first garden city.

One of the collection's treasured objects is currently attracting a flurry of extra attention, having been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Association of Museums' Object of the Year 2019 competition.

The object, an 83-year-old toilet roll, was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemist, E.E Russell, who ran a chemist shop on Station Road in the town from 1911.

Garden City Collection officer Sophie Walter said: "This is likely the oldest surviving toilet roll in Letchworth, and perhaps all of Hertfordshire!

An 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage FoundationAn 83-year-old toilet roll which was manufactured in 1936 by Letchworth chemists has been shortlisted in the Hertfordshire Object of the Year Award. Picture: The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

"It is amazing that something most people will have used or thrown away has stood the test of time for 83 years.

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"Our toilet roll is gathering a following on social media.

"It might be hard to believe, but there's also a Twitter account called @MuseumToilets, and we're thrilled that they are supporting us.

E.E Russell was located in Leys Avenue in Letchworth as well as Station Road. Picture: Garden City CollectionE.E Russell was located in Leys Avenue in Letchworth as well as Station Road. Picture: Garden City Collection

"We hope this is just the beginning and that the people of Letchworth, and all around Hertfordshire, will vote for the toilet roll too."

The entry is up against 10 items including a Stanhope peep pipe from Dacorum Heritage Trust, samurai armour from Hertford Museum, an emperor penguin from the Natural History Museum at Tring and a 1793 Offley fire engine from North Hertfordshire Museum.

The vintage toilet roll is currently on public display at Letchworth's very own micro museum, Museum at One Garden City, which is located just off Broadway Gardens.

The Heritage Foundation base is also home to Discover Letchworth, which replaced the town's Tourist Information Centre earlier this year.

Chemist E.E Russell created the toilet roll which is now 83 years old and up for the Object of the Year Award. Picture: Garden City CollectionChemist E.E Russell created the toilet roll which is now 83 years old and up for the Object of the Year Award. Picture: Garden City Collection

To vote, visit hertfordshiremuseums.org.uk/object-of-the-year. The closing date is October 31.

For more on the Garden City Collection, go to gardencitycollection.com/home.

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