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Taxidermy & tractors: the Examiner takes a tour of Huddersfield's wonderful Tolson Museum

The museum's future is currently under threat due to an expensive repair bill

It’s the only place in town where you can see Daleks, tractors and a famous taxidermy pig all under one roof.

Huddersfield’s Tolson Museum has been in our headlines after it was revealed expensive repairs may force it to close.

The Examiner took a tour round this delightful institution.

Visiting the Tolson, sited in the heart of Ravensknowle Park, is a part of growing up in Huddersfield, and it seemed fitting to remind readers why.

Treasures at the Tolson are almost all from Huddersfield, including Mrs Sunderland’s desk, a collection of 1550s coins found in Netherton and a famous flag made in 1819 in honour of the Peterloo Massacre victims.

See pictures of some of the exhibits!

The flag was found in a Skelmanthorpe warehouse in 1884 largely undamaged thanks to being hidden from the authorities.

The Tolson also boasts the magnificent bird room - a room festooned with cabinets housing hundreds of stuffed birds.

The birds were all from the local environment, and were displayed by the museum’s first curator Seth Lister Mosley, a self-taught natural historian from Lepton.

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Taxidermy is a popular theme at the Tolson, where you can also see the famous “half pig”.

The stuffed beast is displayed so you can see its inner skeleton and has been the most notable relic of the museum since 1924. It even has its own Twitter account.

Kirklees Museum Operations Manager Deborah Marsland, who showed us around, said: “We have such a great collection, with some things that have really changed history, like the Skelmanthorpe flag.”

But as well as epitomising Huddersfield’s history and industrial heritage, the Tolson also includes relics of the present.

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Original Star Wars memorabilia, masks from the film and old comic books can be seen dotted about.

There is even a Dalek plonked next to an original industrial-era weaving machine.

The museum is a house of Huddersfield’s treasures with no particular theme, except perhaps quirkiness and intrigue.

But its remaining popularity (last year the Tolson saw 42,000 visitors) may not be enough to save it.

Kirklees Council say the building itself may need an unaffordable £4.2million worth of repairs, it was recently revealed.

Campaigners have vowed to try and save the museum and Ann Denham, from the Friends of Tolson group, said: “The house and the artefacts in it are the heritage of the people of Huddersfield.

“They should remain available for all to understand and enjoy.”



Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent