Objects tell Somerset's history

PUBLISHED: 11:01 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

A LAUGHING sailor, a cheese press and a helicopter are just some of the objects selected to tell the history of Somerset.

A LAUGHING sailor, a cheese press and a helicopter are just some of the objects selected to tell the history of Somerset.

Somerset County Council's museum service has helped choose the first 10 objects which will represent the district nationwide in A History Of The World project.

The scheme has been formed by the BBC, the British Museum and 350 museums and institutions across the country.

Included in the Somerset collection is The Laughing Sailor at North Somerset Museum in Weston.

In the 1930s an amusement arcade was built at the town's Grand Pier which included a 'Laughing Sailor' slot machine. When a coin was inserted the sailor moved around and laughed.

There is also the Westland Lynx helicopter at the Helicopter Museum in Weston.

The military vehicle was designed and built by Westland Helicopters in Yeovil and is part of a series around the world that has been a mainstay of the British armed forces for almost 40 years.

A cheese press made in the village of Mark is also part of the collection and is on display at the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury.

The press was made at the foundry of Albert Day and symbolises cheese making that took place in the later 1800s.

Somerset County Council's head of museums, Stephen Minnitt, said: "It has been quite a challenge to select just 10 objects to represent Somerset.

"All the objects have an intriguing tale to tell and it really helps to bring history to life."

For more information about the displays and museum opening times visit www.somerset.gov.uk

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