‘Pig’ put on a pedestal

The stoneware hot water bottle, sometimes known as a 'pig' SUS-160617-142522003
The stoneware hot water bottle, sometimes known as a 'pig' SUS-160617-142522003

Precious items are being dusted off and brought out of the storeroom for display at Rustington Museum.

A special new cabinet has been placed in the museum, in The Street, and each month, a different item from Rustington Heritage Association’s extensive collection will be ‘put on a pedestal’ there.

June’s object is a stoneware hot water bottle, a charming reminder of how people warmed their beds in the days before central heating and electric blankets.

Committee member Graham Lewis said: “Such stoneware bottles were sometimes known as a ‘pig’, from a north British word for a pot. Although India rubber hot water bottles were in use in Britain by 1875, stoneware bottles were so sturdy that people continued to use them until the 1950s.”

Visitors will also find several new exhibitions. Father and Son features paintings and prints by Count Albert de Belleroche and his son William, who both lived in the Manor House in The Street, Rustington, from 1918 to 1939.

Another display reveals sculptures by Jon Edgar using materials found in Rustington, together with artwork by Jon’s cartoonist grandfather Brian White, who created The Nipper character, which appeared in Daily Mail cartoons from 1933 to 1947.

An exhibition of objects related to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 battle tells the story of Rustington’s connection with Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. Rustington has been home to several members of the Wellesley family.

Mr Lewis added: “A display of dinosaur bones, fossils and meteorites has proved very popular with younger visitors and continues until December.”

Rustington Museum is open from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and admission is free.

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