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Ebay, interiors and Jon's mum's old table - it's all in the detail!

Chip shop BCLM

11 March 2016

When Jon Tuffley listed his mum's old kitchen table on Ebay, he just hoped that the table that she used in her kitchen for over 50 years would find a good new home. He had no idea that it would become part of the period set dressing of the Black Country Living Museum's famous chip shop!

The Black Country Living Museum has to get the period look just right for true authenticity. Museum visitors appreciate the way that the lost world of the past is recreated at the open-air site in every detail, and it‘s something that the staff of the museum take very seriously. When the chip shop needed a table for their buckets of legendary Black Country chips waiting for hungry visitors, it needed something far better than an ordinary catering stainless steel table from a modern catalogue. It had to be something that would look right in the historic and rare 1930s interior. Sadly, the Museum didn't have a spare table in stock, so curators had to go to the open market to find something.

"It's not something we normally do," explained Museum Curator, Helen Taylor, "but in this case we had to find a table to meet a very practical need that also looked just right. It's what we call a 'set dressing" situation where the provenance of the table is interesting but the look is the really vital thing."

Cream enamelling is classic 1930s and John's mum's table fitted the bill perfectly. It's a small touch, but the table has a new part to play in the story of the Living Museum.


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