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  • Penrith and Eden Museum

Artefact 8 - The fashion challenge!


Each week there will be a different creative challenge as you find out about special objects from your local museum. Make some art and send a photo to Rebecca, one of the curators, who will choose some of your photos each week and share them worldwide on our museum blog!

The curator says:

William Jameson of Penrith was a joiner by trade. He was also a champion wrestler. He weighed about 17 stone but he was also a runner and jumper. He once performed a pole leap reaching a height of 10 feet and 3 inches - over 3 metres.

He won many prizes for Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. The wrestlers grip each other’s back and one tries to force the other to the ground. If any part of the wrestler's body except his feet touches the ground, then he loses the contest.

Prize belts are large. Most have a silver buckle and a medallion or a plaque with the name of the contest. Winners also got silver medals or trophies like large cups or toasting racks and teapots. The Museum has some of this type which William Jameson won. His prize belts include one for wrestling at Keswick in 1865 and another won at the Talkin Tarn Regatta in 1860. There is also a belt he won at Penrith in 1860. It has a silver stud saying H. G. Pears, Saddler of Penrith, made it. Jameson was so proud of his success that he would wear one of his prize belts to attend church on Sundays. He took over the Griffin Inn in Cornmarket, Penrith where he died in 1888 aged 51.

The artist‘ challenge:

William Jameson was so proud of his belts that he wore them to church on Sundays. Your next challenge is a fashion challenge! Can you design a belt that you could wear?

Think about the material - leather, fabric, plastic, elastic?

How does it close - does it have a buckle, what it might be made of?

Does it have other features? Think about cartoon or film characters that have special belts. Does it have another use as well, eg tools or a place for a phone?

Is it decorated? Would you put your name on it and if so how?

Start by drawing out your ideas, then have a go making a mock-up. You don’t have to use the correct materials, you could make it from paper / plastic and tin foil, whatever you have in your recycling bin!

Send a photo of your art masterpiece by email to and then check the blog to see if it has been chosen in the curator’s blog. You can find this on Facebook or

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