Ainsworth Jewellers are on the hunt for museum-worthy memorabilia spanning their 150-year history.
To honour their heritage, the Darwen Street store have set up the ‘Ainsworth Museum’ on the first floor of their shop, showcasing materials collated from their 150 years in business.
Although the shop is currently closed due to Coronavirus, the jewellers has appealed to the public, asking for customers to bring in some of their old items in order to gain photographs for the museum.
Fifth generation of the Ainsworth family and current director Phil, said “We had a number of wonderful customers allowing us to photograph their items and even one or two donated the pieces to the museum for us to showcase.”
But the collection search doesn’t end there. Ainsworth Jewellers are still actively looking for more pieces to help to expand their museum.
“In particular, the earliest era of the store is the one that the museum appears to presently lack memorabilia of,” said Phil. “If anyone has a box from around circa 1870-1890 of our shop on Darwen Street, we would love to see it and take a picture of it, to help complete the timeline.”
Amongst the existing pieces of the collection are medals from the FA cup, a contract which Ainsworth Jewellers had for 20 years between 1907 and 1927.
“Unfortunately, 1927 was the last year we made the medals,” said Phil. “In 1928, Blackburn Rovers went on to win the FA cup and it was the first year in 20 that we hadn’t been involved in making the medals for the FA!”
Another prized possession is founder James Ainsworth’s (Phil’s great great great grandfather!) pocket watch. It was sold to the museum by a customer around a year ago and the hallmark reads ‘1895’, 25 years after James started the business in 1970.
Other items include a line drawing of the shop front from when Ainsworth Jewellers was based in Market Place in 1938, and a family photo from 1965, with third and fourth generation family members in the current premises on Darwen Street.
“The museum opening times are the same as the stores and anyone is welcome to come and see all of the items and photographs that piece together the last 150 years of our history.”
More information about Ainsworth Jewellers is available on their website and if you have an item that you think would fit right in to the museum, Phil is eagerly waiting to hear from you!