Forgotten Objects Competition: Selection of other competition entries

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life

Carving knife with bone handle

This is a decorative carving fork. It is made from bone and silver. It was used for carving meat. It is 26cm long. It has two prongs, a bone handle and a silver embossed band around the handle. It was used for special occasions like parties and Christmas. We don’t use it anymore. Granny keeps in a drawer.

By Meadbh Shiel and Tara Scully. 1st class, Kiltiernan N.S, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway.


The Gramaphone

My uncle used to have a gramophone in his house. I was always fascinated by it.

By Kate Gaughan, 5th class, Lisaniska N.S., Foxford Co. Mayo.


A Clock’s Life

An old clock on top of my shelf.

Owned by a person with great wealth.

The journey the clock had wasn’t that bad

It was just a little sad

My mother and father lived on Butler Road

A deceased woman with no will

Kept the clock for her window sill

The clock will tick no more but it hasn’t worn

For it has travelled from England to Houndswood North.

By Siobhán Moran, 5th Class, Cross N.S., Claremorris, Co. Mayo.


Thatched Roof

By Darragh Coyne, 2nd class, Leenane N.S., Leenane, Co. Galway.


Telephone Box

I saw a telephone box in a movie. My mam told me that when she wanted to ring my dad she had to go to a telephone like this in Dublin.

By Niamh Brennan, 2nd class, St. Patrick’s N.S., Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon.


The Platoon

My forgotten object is this platoon. I chose this because in my house there isn’t anything that is really old  but my Gran does. She has lots of things that are old and some of them are antiques. But I chose this platoon out of all the things she has as my forgotten object.

You see back in Bangladesh where I come from, when my mum was a child women used to walk to the nearest river for clean water. They took up the water from the river with this platoon and carry it back to their homes. The platoon was really heavy because it was full of water and if it fell it would break straight away since it was made of mud or clay.  But it time they didn’t have to walk to any river to get water, the people had this really big deep water taps that were drilled underground which they had in front of their houses.  So now it was much easier for the women to get water whenever they wanted. But they still used the platoons to get the water though. So that didn’t change. But nowadays we don’t use platoons or anything like that or use big taps that you need to put pressure on to get the water out. Now we have two small taps one cold and the other hot in a sink in rooms called bathrooms in our houses. It is amazing how things can change in just a few years.

By Fiora Afrose, 5th class, Scoil Phádraig, Altamount St., Westport, Co. Mayo.

The Awl

One sunny Saturday morning the Galway City Council organised a ‘Clean up Day’ for all the beaches in Salthill. Our family volunteered to help clean up Grattan Beach close to our home. About eight people turned up to clean the beach. We were given picker uppers, rubber gloves and black bags and off we went! We worked and worked and suddenly out of the side of my eye I spotted an old wooden and rusty object amongst the gooey slimy seaweed. It was 6 inches long. I ran to show my Mum…she said “you would find a needle in a haystack Michael!” My heart jumped for joy and my head thought…”is there a story to be told?” All the beach cleaners crowded around me…”What is it?” I asked. One man suggested that the tool may have belonged to a fisherman who used it to fix his nets. Another said it looked like an old door knob…and an old wise man with a beard said “why don’t you bring it to the city museum and they will help you?”

So a few days later we skipped off and met Helen Benningham at the Galway City Museum. We hoped she would identify the unidentified object! After a long examination she asked us to fill out a Museum Object Entry form …and to leave it with her…I was very excited. A few months later I got a phone call from Helen to tell me it was an Awl – a tool used by carpenters or people to make a hole in wood so that a screw or nail could be out in the hole. It was not a tool of much value as it didn’t have any signs of brass…but I felt as if I had won the lotto. I also met Padraic and James (a conservationist) who works at the Galway City Museum. James printed off some pictures of Awls for me. I had to sign the original form again to say that I was collecting the Awl from the Museum. I felt I had found something special, met special people and felt special inside. I enjoyed all the excitment that went with it.

By Michael Hayes, 3rd class, Scoil Iognáid, Bóthar na Shogáin, Cathair na Gaillimhe.


Forgot Object – Sewing Machine

The sewing machine was old broken and dusty,

And in the musty attic it lay,

Until it caught my attention one day.


It was big, bulky and stuck to a table,

For underneath there lead no sign of a cable.


My granny looked over the old machine with pride,

Touching and pawing it she would not abide


When my granny was young it was her talent and joy,

Sewing pinafores for the girls and breeches for the boys.


But now in the attic covered in dust,

The old machine is starting to rust.


The old machine has seen its day

Come and go and pass away.


Now that my granny has closed her eyes,

Declared her farewells and said her goodbyes.


The old machine is what’s left of her and her past,

And now in the memory it forever lasts.

By Alice Fitzpatrick, 6th class, Esker N.S., Athenry, Galway.


Wind chimes

I am part of a set of old wind chimes. I am old and rusty and I was bought in a garden centre. I was hung on a tree and I was so old and rusty and I fell to the ground. Now I am in a house on a shelf with other old things. When I wasn’t old and rusty I was in the garden centre I was in the shade with lots of other wind chimes and when the door was open the wind came in and we were making music with the wind. They someone cane in and bought me and took me a way. But when I got there it was a lovely garden and I was hung on a tree. I sort of missed my friends. But now I am inside. Now I am nice and warm and I have old rusty things to talk to. I lost my piece of metal so I can’t make music anymore.

By Dylan Raleigh, Carrick N.S.



One day I was at my uncle’s house. I was playing out in the farm when suddenly I remembered my great granddad’s old house. I walked towards the house. There was wire and bottles outside the house. I had to fight my way through the wire but eventually I made my way through it. The house was falling apart and the roof had caved in.  At the front door there was two bags of something. I moved slowly towards the big room. There was rubble everywhere. I could see the remains of a stairs that collapsed and another room filled with overgrowth. The man room had a big wooden cupboard with large rusty hinges. On the other side of the room there was an old battered stove. Out of the corner of my eye spotted something jutting out from beneath the rubble and I went to investigate it. To my surprise it was my great granddad’s pipe. The pipe was old and the top of it was quite battered. The top of the pipe was a light maroon colour and had a black running through it. As quick as a flash I scrambled out of the house and ran to my uncle. He looked at the pipe and confirmed that it was around two hundred years old.

By Cormac Finn, St. Michael’s N.S., Cappataggle, Ballinsloe, Co. Galway.


Copper pot

This is a copper pot. It is made from copper. There is a few dents and scratches. It was probably used for carrying water or as a vase. It is over 50 years old, copper goes green when it is old.

By Eoghan O’Neill, 3rd class, Kiltiernan N.S., Kilcolgan, Co. Galway


The Golden Floral Brooch

Out of the scorching broken ground

Precious gold was finally found

From the melting pot it came

And fashioned into flowers on a beautiful frame

Within each bloom a precious stone

Was carefully placed and found its home

Passed down from mother to child through many years

Through good and bad times, through laughter and tears


I picked this brooch because it is very important item in my family. It also helps me know about my family history.

By Ciara Varley, 5th class, St. Feichín’s N.S.,


Statue of child of Prague

A statue of the child of Prague. My great grandfather bought a statue of the child of prague in Knock Co. Mayo over seventy years ago. He brought the statue home and put it on top of the mantel piece. There it stayed until my grandfather brought it down to his house. By then it was twenty years old.

Fifty years on it is still in my grandfather’s house and when the time comes the child of Prague will be passed on to somebody in my family. A tradition my grandmother had, when one of her children were getting married she would put the child of Prague out under the hedge and she would pray to the child of Prague for fine weather for the wedding and to this day she always got her wish.

By Shane O’Mailley, 6th class, St. Theresa’s N.S, Cashel, Connemara, Co. Galway.


Old Pipe

Long, long, long ago, an old man used to use me for smoking. He was working in the field digging up the crops, and he suddenly noticed a shiny blue object. So he picked me up and shouted ‘lads come over here I have something to show ye’. Suddenly all the lads were crowding around me. All the lads were asking ‘where did ya find this?’. The old man replied ‘in this field’.

Then he used to put tobacco in me. And he would always light me up for a smoke in the evening, when he was sitting in his armchair near the fire. I was not forgotten then.

So that’s where my life began.

I choose it because I always look at it when I do my homework, and it is very old. We keep it on the window in the kitchen.

By Casey Gardiner, 5th class, Newtownwhite N.S., Ballysokerry, Killala, Co. Mayo.


The Horseshoe

I choose the horseshoe because it is over our front door as you enter our house. It’s of sentimental value to my family. It is over 100 years old. It has been passed on to my father for five generations. The tradition of the horseshoe was my great great great grandfathers. He had a horse and cart as a means of transport to bring them to mass and to do their shopping. They would use the horseshoe for the horse’s feet and that’s why it was found in an old stone wall. The horseshoe is a symbol of good luck. You are not supposed to buy one. You either have to find it or else get it from someone that wants to give it to you. Hopefully my dad will pass it on to me in my generation.

By Rachel Bodkin, 3rd class, St. Theresa’s N.S., Cashel, Connemara, Co. Galway.


Pocket watch

Place your hand inside the cloth

Of a bag half eaten by moths

Draw the object out and see

A pockewatch that makes you dance in ecstasy

Inside the casing you will find

Little hallmarks hidden behind

An embossed layer of metal

Careful in each embossed flower petal

A distinguished gentleman in possession of this clock

Would wind it up in the morning so it would say ‘tick’ and ‘tock’.

By Sarah Bourke, 6th class, St. Peter’s N.S., Snugsboro, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.


My Very Own Straw Hat

Two party crashers stood outside the cottage door which was kept wide open as if to say ‘all are welcome here’. Inside there was laughter, music and dancing.  A couple of young villagers had been married that day in the local church and their wedding party was in full swing.

The party crashers placed their straw hats over their heads, held their breath and walked through the door. The musicians in the corner stopped playing for a minute when they saw them, everyone looked around, then the music continued. One straw boy grabbed the bride, the other grabbed the groom and they began to dance a jig to the ‘Irish Washerwoman’. When the musicians finished playing, the straw boys ran off. On their way out one of their hats fell off. The young lads didn’t even turn around to pick it up, he just put his hands over his head and kept running. No one can know a straw-boy’s true identity. The bride stooped down to pick the fallen hat up…

Granny and I walked through the doors of the Turlough House Museum. We took the stairs to the ground floor workshop. There we were greeted by an older gentleman who led us to the room for the workshop. The table was covered in golden straw. The older gentleman pulled a rather tattered looking tall cone shaped straw hat out of his bag and told us that his grandmother picked this very straw hat off the floor on her wedding day. He showed us the hat and announced ‘today you’ll have a change to make your very own straw hat’.

I was only eight at the time and my fingers didn’t work as quick as my granny’s could but the teacher was very patient with me. My straw hat fell apart but my granny’s hat was turning out brilliantly, she was even quicker than our workshop teacher.

In the end I had no hat because it had fallen apart so many times but my granny’s one was perfect. She gave it to me! My very own straw hat!

I wanted to write this story because my granny really did make a beautiful straw boy hat for me. I also did this story because I look at this treasured forgotten object every night before I go to sleep. It reminds me of the best day of my life!

By Arianna McKirdy, 5th class, St. Patrick’s N.S, Calry, Co. Sligo.


Vintage Knitting Machine

Long ago people knitted their jumpers, hats and scarves. Some people had machines for the knitting. At home we have my nana’s vintage knitting machine. It is made out of steel and wood. The frame is steel and mounted on a wooden table. There are two handles for moving it back and forth.

The yarn for it come in skeins, you put the yarn onto cones and the cones sit on the machine. You feed the thread through the top guides and you take it down through the carriers on the machine. The head of the machine can pick up the carriers and when it goes from left to right it picks up the needles with the thread. This is how the machine knits your garment.

Nana used the machine for knitting for the nun’s in the convent in Clifden. She knitted all their black cardigans and scarves every year. She also knitted school uniform jumpers for the local students who were going to St. Jarlaths Secondary School in Galway. Nana knitted suits for President Kennedy’s sister in America on this machine. She did all this knitting in her own home. She made all her own patterns and used them for her knitting. The thread was bought in bulk once a month in Tourmakeady in Co. Mayo. This knitting machine is over sixty years old. The brand of the machine is Singer. It is in my house now for the last three years. It did a lot of knitting over the last sixty years.

By Aodhán Linnane, 4th class, St. Theresa’s N.S., Cashel, Connemara, Co. Galway.


The Old School Bag

One day I was rummaging through the attic with my friend Jack. We were looking for the Christmas decorations. Jack was rummaging through biggest box and found an old battered, brown school bag. It was nothing like mine. We brought it down to show my mum. ‘It was mine’ said my mum. ‘I remember walking in my bare feet up the stoney road to school dreamily. However I was shocked. ‘How did you walk in your bare feet’ I exclaimed. ‘You get used to it after a while’ she exclaimed.

After a while when Jack went home I brought the school bag back up to the attic. To this day I still wonder what it would be like to go to school with that sort of bag. No way would all my homework fit in it.

By Megan Carroll, 6th class, Newtownwhite N.S. Ballysokerry, Ballina, Co. Mayo.