Port Sunlight Museum

23 King Georges Drive

Port Sunlight


CH62 5DX


tel: +44 (0)151 644 6466







Contact details: Stuart Irwin


Date of visit: 13 February 2015


Nature and extent of collection


Around 30 pieces. Since 2006, Port Sunlight Museum has been actively acquiring items relating to its mission statement 'to collect, preserve and tell the stories behind the people, buildings and landscapes of Port Sunlight village from its founding in 1888 to present day'. We have a growing collection of children's toys, village plans, hoursehold items, soap, photographs and much much more. The numismatics collection reflects this collecting policy.



All numbers below are estimated


British coins: Some Victorian farthings and pennies from the museum's handling collection.

Medals (commemorative or military): The museum contains a small collection of about 15 medals from both the first and second world wars. These consist of; WW1 - 1914 Star, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Territorial Forces Medal. The collection consists of one Military Medal. WW2 – The Defence Medal, War Medal, The Italy Star, Africa Star, Atlantic Star, 1939 – 45 Star.

Other: Badges; the museum contains a collection of pin badges that were given to Lever Brothers employees on excursions made to holiday destinations in the UK and Europe between 1900 and 1910. The badges were both a memento of the occasion and also to signify which train the employee was to board for the journey.


Specific strengths: Medals and badges.


Library: Around 5,000 volumes. The museum’s reference library contains books and publications produced by Lever Brothers from c. 1895 to 1999, and material relating to the past 15 years of the Port Sunlight Village Trust. Also newspaper clipping and press articles relating to Port Sunlight Village. The Lever Brothers company journal ‘Progress’ and ‘Port Sunlight News covering nearly 100 years of social history.





Database used: Modes for Windows


Proportion of collection on database: 70%


How much detail in database entries? This varies depending on provenance, but all records contain basic detail.  


Are images incorporated? Yes, all database records include images.


Is the database accessible to the public? No.


Is the database publicly accessible online? No.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? No.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Yes, the museum has a temporary exhibition space, which is changed on an annual basis.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? Not specific numismatic exhibitions, but practically every past exhibition has featured something from our numismatic collection.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? There are research facilities at the museum’s Collection Study Centre. Visits can be made to carry out unassisted research, or requests can be made for assisted research for those not able to visit in person.  


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? Some equipment can be provided upon request.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? Yes, part of the museum’s collections include a handling collection.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? Yes, the collection includes old currency, Victorian farthings and pennies.


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes, some commemorative coins and badges feature in social history talks.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? Coin rubbing takes place as part of the education sessions provided by the museum’s Learning Officer.



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? Yes, members of the public regularly bring in objects for identification.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? No.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? The museum is part of several regional network groups from which expertise is drawn when needed.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? The Collections & Exhibitions Officer is willing to share knowledge about any Port Sunlight related numismatic objects.