The Molly Spoon Archive

Bruce Castle

The Molly Spoon Archive is a free temporary exhibition for Bruce Castle Museum, based in Haringey. It will explore and cultivate new collections around personal and LGBTQ cultural history for the Museum; building on Haringey’s LGBTQ campaigning history. 

The Molly Spoon Archive responds to invisible, misinterpreted and forgotten histories of LGBTQ communities. It is an exhibition which explores what it means to be different and how we create a sense of identity and community through different rituals. 

The Molly Spoon refers to the wooden dolls used in ceremonies at the Molly Houses of Renaissance London as a symbol of ‘coming out’ as a new character. Each Molly Spoon represents a different person Much of this history is vague because homosexuality was illegal. Subsequently many stories are pieced together through contemporary court transcripts.

This exhibition, with interactive workshops, aims to amass contemporary Molly Spoons made by the public; these will then become part of Bruce Castle’s permanent collection as a legacy for future generations interested in LGBTQ culture and history. Visitors from any background are encouraged to make their own molly spoon, which will then be archived using #MollySpoon, linking the 19th  Century with 21st  Century technology.

Molly Spoons: The Launch

May 28th saw the launch of the Mollie Spoon Archive at Bruce Castle Museum. The launch event was attended by Ms Timberlina, Dr. Gareth Hagger-Johnson (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health), and local hip-hop pensioner Ida Barr. 

Gareth said "Museums are a neglected form of public engagement. Like the African comb exhibition before it, the Molly Spoon Archive encourages dialogue about why minority groups are not well represented in London's mainstream museums. Social hierarchies of the past may explain the health inequalities of today".

Celebrate Future Queer Heritage: Create Your Very Own Molly Spoon!

Molly Spoon Making days with Timberlina and Gareth Hagger-Johnson are FREE!

Join in the fun at Bruce Castle Museum, 2 – 4pm on Sundays 15 June, 27 July and Wednesday 27th August 2014. It's FREE - just turn up!

In the News

Check out a guest blog post on Broke in London!

Follow Molly Spoons on Facebook and Tumblr and at #MollySpoon

Project Leads
  • Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Research Associate, Institute of Child Health & Senior Research Associate, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL
  • Deborah Hedgecock, Curator, Bruce Castle Museum
  • Tim Redfern, Freelancer