Yorkshire nostalgia: Batley mansion that became a museum

Batley.  20th November 1969.

WITH the aid of a 2,000-year-old funeral mask, several rolls of bandages, wire netting, hardboard and powdered coffeee, a museum expert has produced a realistic-looking mummy.

The construction of this modern mummy was a serious venture carried out to provide the centre-piece for a display of ancient Egyptian antiques which will be a feature of Bagshaw Museum, Batley, now being reorganised.

Mr. John Lidster, curator of Batley Museums and Art Gallery, carried out the reproduction work.

"This job was simply to provide a more graphic display in our Egyptican exhibition.  Included in the mummy, besides the old marsk, is part of a mummified leg," he said.  "Now both of these items are in perspective."

Mr. Lidster explained that in the museum's possession was a large collection of Egyptian antiques donated between 1920 and 1930.

"When we finished our reorganisation programme and re-open again on January 1 many more of them than formerly will be on view to the public,"he went on.

M

Batley. 20th November 1969. WITH the aid of a 2,000-year-old funeral mask, several rolls of bandages, wire netting, hardboard and powdered coffeee, a museum expert has produced a realistic-looking mummy. The construction of this modern mummy was a serious venture carried out to provide the centre-piece for a display of ancient Egyptian antiques which will be a feature of Bagshaw Museum, Batley, now being reorganised. Mr. John Lidster, curator of Batley Museums and Art Gallery, carried out the reproduction work. "This job was simply to provide a more graphic display in our Egyptican exhibition. Included in the mummy, besides the old marsk, is part of a mummified leg," he said. "Now both of these items are in perspective." Mr. Lidster explained that in the museum's possession was a large collection of Egyptian antiques donated between 1920 and 1930. "When we finished our reorganisation programme and re-open again on January 1 many more of them than formerly will be on view to the public,"he went on. M

0
Have your say

Even today it’s possible to be given fright by the sight of Bagshaw Museum, appearing suddenly as it does through the trees of Wilton Park, Batley, with its gaunt Gothic lines and wondrous copper-clad tower.

Originally, it was a mansion built in 1875 for local mill owner George Sheard and his wife Annie at a reputed cost of £25,000. The family owned a mill at Hick Lane, Batley. In 1882, they staged a lavish 50th wedding anniversary at the mansion, where they entertained hundreds of guests, including workers from the mill.

Bagshaw Museum, Wilton Park, Batley.....revamp in pipeline story.
Story Malcolm Haigh.

Bagshaw Museum, Wilton Park, Batley.....revamp in pipeline story. Story Malcolm Haigh.

Sheard died in 1902 and the mansion was put up for sale a short time after but there were no takers, so it was eventually sold for just £5 to the local corporation.

They employed a local businessman, Walter Bagshaw, to furnish one room as a museum. It proved popular and more rooms were given over to a collection which was as bizarre as it was extensive and eventually the building was renamed in his honour. Bagshaw, which was recently saved from closure by Kirklees Council, is renowned for its collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, including a mummy (albeit a false one), as our archive picture from November 1969 shows.

The caption read: “With the aid of a 2,000-year-old funeral mask, several rolls of bandages, wire netting, hardboard and powdered coffee, a museum expert has produced a realistic-looking mummy.

“The construction of this modern mummy was a serious venture carried out to provide the centre-piece for a display of ancient Egyptian antiques .

“John Lidster, curator of Batley Museums and Art Gallery, carried out the reproduction work.”

The collection included a mummy mask, part of a mummified leg and other paraphernalia.

Leeds nostalgia Coal saved UK in 1947