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Outreach Work

The Outreach Work of the museum covers two main areas – Loan Boxes and Talks. We aim to bring the museum to the communities of West Cumbria as well as encourage visitors into the museum.

Loan Boxes

Items donated to the museum which do not meet the museum criteria for acceptance into the collection are used in Loan Boxes. Over the years we have collected a variety of items which one generation feels are precious but the next generation do not want.

These objects can be used to illustrate periods of history or they can be matched to a story or an event. Anything from childhood memories to wartime memories can be catered for. Our aim is to provide history and reminiscences for all and to date many groups and schools have made use of them.


Our volunteers go out into the community and attend women’s institutes, over 60’s groups and Alzheimer groups, to name but a few, giving talks on many subjects. See below the list of talks available.

Talk, Tea & a Tour

Groups are also welcome to visit the museum for afternoon tea, a talk and a tour or just a talk. We can tailor these visits to suit your requirements and budget.

Outreach Talks Available

Go down memory lane –evoke the days of your childhood and youth, using hands-on household items from years gone by with pictures and stories –  a light hearted look back in time.

Using a collection of toys from the past – a look back at childhood from days long gone, as well as remembering your own childhood.

Look at where they originated from, how they evolved, remember your own favourite rhymes , and enjoy the fun of being able to return to days of your childhood.

Using seaside artefacts and local memories of sun-drenched holidays from days gone by – get all nostalgic –regarding the days of your youth.

Home front – using items from that time, look at home life, our food, rationing with recipes, shopping, leisure – using photographs, programmes and original hands on items.


Look at the work of the local forces, local industry, evacuees in the area and the part played by West Cumbrians in that dark time.

A light-hearted look back at the lifestyles of the middle class, the poor, their dress their foods and the rules and regulations that governed everyday life –using costumes, pictures, and household items.

Look at medical cures from the Georgian and Victorian time – very light- hearted information of the cures and remedies of that time.

Learn of the story of Mary Queen of Scots and her visit to Workington with pictures and information regards the importance of her visit. Also included is a visit to Workington Hall if the talk is in the immediate area.

Hear the story of this brilliant man who changed the face of British agriculture, in the 1700’s – husband of Isabella Curwen – Lord of the      Manor of Workington.

Information about the history of the local legal system , the jail houses of the town, and fascinating stories of local miscreants   – using pictures, and documents.

The story of a Barrow housewife during WW2 – covering the effects of war on her everyday life – this lady was the central character in the film ‘Housewife 39’.

A hilarious introduction into the history of this important part of female attire – using numerous exhibits.

The story of the benefactor responsible for the gift to the town, of Park House, which is now the Museum plus information on her lifestyle from the 1800’s.

The story of theatres, in the immediate area from 1800 until the present day, including information of costumes and props.

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