Link to homepage
Search site


Memory Boxes

A Memory Box session in action

Have you ever seen, felt or read something that takes you back to a certain time and place? Objects are amazing tools to trigger the memory and get conversation going.

This is the thinking behind Memory Boxes; containers filled with objects which can be enjoyed by people who have difficulty with memory. The purpose of the Boxes is to encourage memory, generate discussion and share past experiences. They are generally targeted at older people, especially those with dementia, but have also proved successful with individuals who may have suffered a stroke or a brain injury.

The Boxes have proved very successful in the UK and are now available on free loan from Guernsey Museums. Most of the Memory Box items were donated by local people during an appeal in 2009. They range from a Fermain boat ticket to a shopping list from 1965.

The Boxes are available for free loan to care and residential homes, day centres and any charities or groups that might benefit from using such a resource. (For example, the Boxes can be used as a way to generate conversation between new members in a group). When available, the Museum Education staff can lead a Memory Box guided session at your home or group's meeting place. This is usually followed by a quiz, song or practical activity. Please get in touch if you would like to request a session.

Memory Boxes currently available for loan are:

  • Home Sweet Home - Do you remember using Gumption to clean the house? Playing gramophone records in the evening? This homely box includes everything except the kitchen sink!
  • Glitz & Glamour - Some girls have all the fun. This has everything for the glamorous woman including hat, shoes, bag, swimming costume and powder compact.
  • His Not Hers - Do you remember using Brylcreem? Did you smoke Club cigarettes? This box was made for men and boys (at heart!)
  • Childhood Memories - A nostalgic toy box of books, games and clothes to bring back memories of school days and playing outside.
  • Make Do & Mend - Did you ever spend your evenings darning socks? This box is all you need to 'make do and mend'!
  • High Days & Holidays - Relive endless summer days on the beach, trips to Pleinmont, Christmas and weddings with this special occasions box.
  • 1960s
  • 1960s Fashion
  • 'Lucky Dip' - a bit of everything.
  • 1970s 
  • Teenage Kicks - Designed for children of the 1980s.  

Our Access & Learning Manager recorded a talk about memory boxes in May 2020 and you can watch it here.