The fantastic thing about the Kays Archive, deposited by the Kays Heritage Group in 2009, is that it embraces such a wide range of wonderful material.
As well as the glorious catalogues, an almost complete run of which spans from 1890 to 2006, there are also a number of boxes full of fascinating items that were sold by or made as samples for the mail-order company throughout its life.
William Kilbourne Kay was a jeweller and clockseller first and foremost, so it should come as no surprise that the earliest catalogues feature a fascinating range of tableware, clocks, crockery and plate. Bernard Mills, chair of the Kays Heritage Group, has searched hard over the years to find examples of these wares and has ensured that they have been deposited with the documentary archive.
Mr Mills has also loaned some of these items to form part of a display celebrating Worcester’s local businesses and home-grown industries at Tudor House Museum in Friar Street, Worcester. You can visit the volunteer-run museum free of charge during their normal opening hours. For details of these and other access, go to the Tudor House Museum website.