Skip to content

Welcome to The People’s Online Gallery

Objects have a meaning far beyond their financial and material value. They become something different when we know the personal stories and emotions behind them.

This gallery was inspired by the DoYouSeeWhatISee? project which was launched in Leicestershire market town museums in March 2019.

People just like you were invited to workshops which explored their unique interpretations of heritage and how it impacts their lives.

One year later we are honoured to share some very real and emotional connections to the objects these people have chosen to be in this People’s Gallery.

Discover the treasures which hold personal significance to people in Charnwood and find out why they chose this one object.

Be prepared for historical, cultural, artistic connections to obvious, obscure, old, new and amazing personal possessions.

Welcome to the The People’s Online Gallery. People’s stories and personal connections have been organised thematically; Our People, Our Places, Ourselves.

Please note: the physical exhibition is currently on display at Charnwood Museum, for more information on the exhibition please click here


“This object is a ‘Miswaak’, which is a natural toothbrush made of small tree branch. I chose this object because it is holy in our religion, it was used by our prophet Muhammad (PBuh). It has a health and scientific effect.”


“I chose this object because I would like to be famous – to become a famous artist for the gallery. I would like to paint the countryside and flowers, like Monet and Manet. Seeing it makes me feel happy and at peace”


“This is a highlander’s hat. Reminds me of my Podhale zone and the people living there. It is a symbol of travelling to the unknown and leaving my homeland”


“I chose to bring a jacket which was gifted to me by my wife. I chose this because this is a rare design and colour. Wearing my jacket made me feel happy and remind me of my wife”


I chose this because I love that the red beaded necklace reminds me of my great-grandmother, although I bought it in a charity shop. Seeing it makes me feel happy, it really reminds me of my great grandmother and the lovely times we used to spend together”


“My folk costume from the mountains girls shoes ‘kierpce’ and flowers and necklaces are my connection to Poland”


“I chose a wrist watch as my object because my grandfather had gifted me many years ago. Seeing the watch makes me feel happy and reminds me of my grandfather”


“I chose this object because…it was given to me by the staff at Glebe House for my 60th birthday. Seeing it makes me feel happy, warm and loved. I remember my birthday”


“This is a photo of my friend John from the 1930s. He was born in 1926 and was only 20 when he went to war. I met him at Fearon Hall in Loughborough. I chose this object because it brings back fond memories of my kind and generous friend who sadly passed away in 2016”


“My gold ring I found while digging the garden. This ring my husband got as a wedding gift. I gave it to my mother in law to wear. The ring was loose on her, so she dropped it – lost in the garden. I went to dig the garden after 10 years and there I found the ring!”


I chose this object because my grandma looked after me and loved me better than my mum. She is no longer with me but every day I look at her photo and remember her and the good times we had. Seeing it makes me feel sad at what I have lost but also memories of the good times. My sister is also important because she looked after us both”.


“I chose these crystals because I carry them about with me at all times. I love the colour of them and that something so beautiful comes out of the ground. They make me feel more civil and spiritual because I believe they have healing and meditative qualities”


“I chose this cause my wife bought this guitar and my first guitar in this country. Seeing it makes me happy”


“My bike is really important to me because it enables me to get about and gives me freedom”


“I bought these reading glasses 3 years ago from an optical store in Loughborough. I chose them because I feel good and comfortable when I wear them. They help me to enjoy everyday life because I can’t read without them. I use them to pray with”


“I chose this object because I love Bagpus – he is my favourite toy. When I saw him in the shop I loved him straight away because he talks [when you press his tummy]. He must be with me every night. Seeing it made me feel happy and cheerful. He comforts me and helps me to get to sleep. If I lost him I’d be really upset – he is special”


“I chose this object because I wear my wedding ring all the time. Seeing it makes me feel loved and not single”


“I chose this Guinness hat because it represents my family tree and the crazy side of me, which is half Irish. It brings back happy memories of the last time we were together having a laugh. It was just a freebie hat and doesn’t have a monetary value, but reminds me of my boys, my cousins and when my Nana and Grandad met in WWX in the WRVS. This hat has travelled the world with me from, Loughborough, Leicester, Birmingham, Dubai, Thailand and back to England”


“I brought this yoga book because it remind me of my friend who brought for me”


“I chose to bring my Leicester Tigers rugby top because it reminds me of a game in the 1980s when they played Bath at Twickenham. My son will inherit this one day.”


“When my sister was working in America in 1994, she brought me this lion as a present. He bring me memories of my childhood and old Disney movies”


“I chose to bring one of my many umbrellas. I always carry one around with me because it always rains.  It also reminds me of my country as it is a good protector from the sun. Seeing it makes me feel good and comfortable”


“I chose this object because Mr Bean is my favourite. He makes me laugh. I liked the pictures and the things he does are funny. Seeing it makes me feel relaxed and I have a drink with it.  I bought this book from a charity shop when I was out with my mum and dad. I like to watch Mr Bean on the TV also”


“I chose this object because the photo album was made for me by my Aunt with all my family’s photos – great granddad, grandparents, Aunts, cousins and sisters. Seeing it makes me feel happy because I remember the good times. I keep the album in my bedroom and look at it all the time”


“I chose this object because. I was given this gold necklace for my 21st birthday and I like to keep it in its special box. It is a special present from 14 years ago. It is gold, shiny and I think very expensive and precious.

Seeing it made me feel very happy and I think of my brother who loves me. I am very spoilt”


“I chose this photo of my great, great, great Grandad standing outside a blacksmiths shop c.1800’s because I am very curious about researching and finding out more about my family history.”


“I am a religious person and I get great comfort from holding this stone angel – it helps me to feel closer to God in times of need”


“I chose this object because it is very important to me and I carry around with me in my wallet always.  It reminds me of the time when I worked in Japan and used this card to phone my family. Seeing it makes me feel good and reminds of the time when I was a building contractor”