A WALKING stick and a 100-year-old pair of women’s football boots are just two of the quirky items that have been chosen to tell of Swindon’s history and its place in the world.

They are among the artefacts selected in a BBC project to show how the ordinary and everyday can shed insights on the past.

It is part of a partnership between the BBC, the British Museum and 350 museums and institutions around the country to tell A History of the World. Wiltshire’s contributions are housed in museums throughout the county, including Swindon’s Steam Museum and the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

One intriguing inclusion in the list is Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s walking stick, which is housed at the Steam Museum of the Great Western Railway.

Brunel was responsible for changing the face of Wiltshire and the South West and was at the forefront of engineering and design. This ingenious object, which folds out to double up as a track gauge, would have played an integral part in Britain’s railway history, by being used for the pioneering broad gauge of 7ft.

The whole of the railway network was built using broad gauge in the 1830s and 40s, so having a walking stick which could quickly transform into a measuring gauge would have been extremely useful for Brunel when inspecting the lines.

Also included is the legendary Fanny Williams’ football boots. She played the beautiful game for Swindon Town Ladies in the 1920s and a pair of her boots are exhibited at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

Ladies’ football first developed during the First World War as teams were formed by munitions factory employees. However, they were banned by the Football Association in 1921.

Fanny lived in the St Margaret’s Road area of Swindon. She was born in 1894 but little else is known about her life or how she became interested in football.

It would appear not much has changed since Fanny’s days playing the sport as the football boots are common size five and made from brown leather with leather studs. A full list of the 10 chosen items can be viewed on the BBC Local site for Wiltshire – bbc.co.uk/wiltshire.

The list includes a wide range of interesting and unusual objects, such as a Chinese emperor’s robe, a 12ft Salisbury giant, a bolt mechanism from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and a bacon cooker.

The project is part of BBC Radio 4’s series A History of the World in 100 Objects, which features 100 objects from the British Museum’s collection that have each been selected for their unique stories and connections around the world.

Send us your stories of unusual objects which you believe represent interesting and unique parts of Swindon and Wiltshire’s history. Email: newsdesk@swindonadvertiser.co.uk