Hertfordshire toilet roll competes for museums award
An 80-year-old toilet roll is in the running for being the most-loved object owned by a county's museum.
Eleven museums nominated an item to compete for the Hertfordshire Association of Museums Object of the Year award.
The roll, manufactured in 1936 by EE Russell, is on display at the Garden City Collection in Letchworth.
It is made of paper, and while it had not been analysed, it was considered "higher end" material.
Collections officer, Sophie Walter, said they were "not officially sure of the exact material" as it is still in its wrapping but it is "quite thin smooth and a beige colour".
"Our example was perhaps considered higher end, as there is no reference to being splinter-free on the labelling, which was often a selling point up until the 1930s," she said.
"We decided to nominate this quirky object as visitors were often amazed it had withstood the test of time, considering the throw-away culture that surrounds us."
As part of the annual awards ceremony, as well as giving prizes for being a Heritage Hero, accessibility, transformation and project of the year, the association asks museums to put forward an item that is important to the county's heritage to compete for the Object of the Year.
Museums development officer, Lucinda Rowe, said this award "highlights just a few of the many fascinating items you can find".
"Ranging from the quirky or the practical to the beautiful or bizarre, there really is something for everyone," she said.
At last year's inaugural awards, it was won by Charlie the Chimp from Watford Museum which got more than 65% of the public vote.
This year's nominations also include the Royston Tapestry at the Royston & District Museum and Art Gallery, and the Offley fire engine at the new North Hertfordshire Museum.
The Mill Green Mill and Museum nominated a 1950s cocktail dress made by Cresta Silks of Welwyn Garden City, and Verulamium Museum in St Albans has put forward the Roman shell mosaic discovered during the Wheeler excavations in 1930.
The Red Book of Panshanger by Humphry Repton at the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies centre, the Doll Crest at Much Hadham Forge Museum, the emperor penguin at the Natural History Museum at Tring, Martha Stapleton's Map Sampler at the British Schools Museum in Hitchin, Samurai Armour at Hertford Museum and the Stanhope Peep Pipe from the Dacorum Heritage Trust make up the other entries.
Voting closes on 31 October.