My Treasured Objects
What is YOUR most treasured object? Think of the first thing you would grab and save in an emergency. What is its background story, who does it remind you of, what feelings or memories does it evoke, and what does it say about you? Galway City Museum would love to hear from you about your most treasured object. We will be sharing ours too!
Please send a photograph and your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading #mytreasuredobject
A selection will be posted on our website and social media. To get the ball rolling we have some of Galway City Museum’s staff member’s picks.
Enjoy – Bain sult as
Brendan Mc Gowan – Education Officer
In April 1968, my Mayo grandparents, who had been working in Leeds for two decades, took over the licence for the Regent Hotel in an Irish area of that city. As they had no experience working behind a bar or managing a business of that nature, it was a big risk, but the pub soon drew large crowds and became a sort of mecca for Irish musicians.
Soon after, my uncle commissioned a backdrop for the stage from a craft artist in Tynagh, Co. Galway. Measuring 180cm x 90cm, it is a rural scene made of felt and woven materials. It was collected from Tynagh and returned to Leeds, via Mayo, strapped to the roof of a rental car. Over the next decade, traditional Irish musicians from all over Ireland and England shared tunes under the scene.
My grandparents retired home to Mayo in April 1978 and the framed scene came with them. It was mounted inside the front door of their new home, over the telephone. It was gifted to me in April 2018, fifty years to the month after it was commissioned. I had it reframed and it now takes pride of place inside the front door of my Galway home.
Jackie Uí Chionna
My treasured object is a Singer sewing machine. My great-grandmother, grandmother and mother were all dressmakers, so the machine had seen a lot of use before I inherited it! Founded in 1851, The Singer Corporation was the largest manufacturer of sewing machines in the world. Each machine carried a serial number indicating its place and year of manufacture. This machine was manufactured in Kilbowie, Scotland in 1933, one of 50,000 machines produced by the factory that year. Still in full working order, I used it to make the curtains for my home in Galway when I moved here in 1992.
Harriet Dundon – Marine Institute Graduate Intern in Marine Science Communication
This painting was by my great grandfather Eric Rosewarne. He was a customs and excise officer in the 1920’s and 30’s at Holyhead Port, Wales. He used to see the Irish mail boats coming into port and leaving for Dublin.
He took up painting when he retired and most of his pictures had a nautical theme. This painting of the RMS Hibernia was completed in 1974. It shows the ship coming into the breakwater at Holyhead, circa 1938 and is remarkably accurate in the detail. I love the painting itself, which was always on display in my grandparents’ house and also the information that he typed out and put on the back of it. To me it symbolises the connection between the east coast of Ireland where I was born and grew up and north Wales where there is strong family history and where I went to university. It is a route that I have taken by boat many, many times.
Eithne Verling – Museum Director
Landscape – Barr A Doire, An Ceathrú Rua, Co Na Gaillimhe. – This is a painting done by my father, Walter Verling, a landscape painter, in about 1972. When I was a small child we moved from Youghal in County Cork to Carraroe. Both my father and mother began teaching in the local comprehensive school – one teaching art, the other music – and we children learned Irish, went to school and enjoyed a carefree existence. The move to Carraroe was inspired in part by my father’s friendship with the great Co. Down/Connemara painter Charles Lamb. Lamb moved to Carraroe with his wife, Catherine, one of the first two female veterinarian’s to qualify from UCD and the daughter of the English novelist, Ford Maddox Ford, in 1922 and lived there until his death in 1964.
Eoin O’Neill – Collections Officer
My favourite object is my passport. It has allowed me to travel all over the world from America to Asia, from Europe to Australia and to experience new people, food, music and much more. I have been able to visit friends and family all over the world because of it. It has contributed to my love of history by allowing me to travel and see amazing historical and cultural sites the world over. It has also given me the opportunity to understand and learn more about peoples and cultures much different than my own all around the world. Owning an Irish passport makes travelling anywhere in the world a very positive experience and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to afford and allowed to travel wherever I’ve liked. Hopefully when this crisis of Covid-19 is over I can get back to my love of travelling again.
Damien Donnellan – Education and Exhibitions
This book is called ‘Between Ourselves’, it is the 7th Volume of the internal staff magazine that was produced by Cόmhlucht Siύicre Eireann Teo, otherwise known as the Irish Sugar Company.
My uncle Christie Donnellan gave me this book while I was doing research for my college dissertation on the Tuam Sugar Factory. My uncle trained and worked as an electrician with the Irish Sugar Company in its Tuam Factory. Christie, along with my father and a number of uncles and aunts all worked in the factory in various roles at various times. The factory was an important feature of life in the town for such a long time.
Researching the Tuam factory allowed me to spend time with and find out more about the lives of my family and for that reason it is one of my treasured objects.