83-year-old toilet roll beats Tring Emperor Penguin for coveted museum award

A toilet roll dating back to 1936 has been voted the most-loved object owned by a county's museum.

The object beat 10 other museums which nominated items, including Tring's Emperor Penguin specimen, to win Hertfordshire Association of Museums' Object of the Year award.

The toilet roll has been described as the Letchworth's oldest

The toilet roll has been described as the Letchworth's oldest

The roll, manufactured by EE Russell, is on display at the Garden City Collection in Letchworth.

Julie Gregson, Head of Heritage Services at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It was fantastic to see such a high standard of entries from a range of projects, highlighting the quality and quantity of activities taking place in Hertfordshire which have been described by the judges as innovative, ambitious, rewarding and valuable.

"The winning toilet roll is not only unusual but also shows Hertfordshire’s fascinating and varied history.”

Tring Natural History Museum's Emperor Penguin, was collected by British botanist and explorer Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, who was also assistant surgeon aboard HMS Erebus on the Ross expedition to the Antarctic (1839-1843).

Emperor Penguin at the Natural History Museum in Tring

Emperor Penguin at the Natural History Museum in Tring

This penguin was one of the first specimens from the voyage to be brought to Britain and is the type specimen from which its species was scientifically described.

More than 1,600 members of the public voted for their object of the year from a choice of eleven which included; The Royston Tapestry from Royston Museum, a Shell Mosaic from St Albans Museum, and a 1793 Offley Fire Engine from North Hertfordshire Museum.

At last year's inaugural awards, it was won by Charlie the Chimp from Watford Museum which got more than 65 per cent of the public vote.