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On its formatiom in 2005 the Trust took possession of a substantial  collection of artefacts and documents deposited over many years, mainly associated with the Ancient Order of Foresters.

The museum relocated to Tunstall in 2016. The building was formerly the HQ of the Tunstall Assurance Society, which amalgamated with Foresters Friendly Society in 2004. The Trust took a lease on part of the building from Foresters and set about converting the office space to house the archive and provide an accessible and secure space for displaying selected items from the museum collection.

The building....

              The move.....


The main room is dedicated to Walter Cooper whose work and collection form the core of the museum today. We also acknowledge the work of Audrey Fisk and Dr Roger Logan in recent years that has enabled the work of the Trust to continue and progress.

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The museum presents a fascinating display of items such as Court (branch) furniture, personal regalia, (sashes, ribbons and collars, medals and jewels), framed items, including membership and past officer certificates, Court Dispensations (documents setting up new branches) and commemorative pieces. The archive provides an unrivalled collection of Foresters central, District, Federation, Region and Court primary source documents. Together they tell the story of the growth of an organisation, and what has been described as the most important working people's movement of the 19th century.

The museum and archive are an ongoing project.

Displays are constantly being reviewed and updated and we are developing a comprehensive index of the collections.

We also plan to digitise the written archive in time.

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