Clifton Park has hosted an exhibition displaying the sentimental objects brought to the UK by Pakistani women during the 1960s.

Created by poet Zanib Rasool MBE, along with oral historian Mariam Shah and visual artist Shaheen Shah, the items were placed in the museum at the start of October, following time spent at Wentworth Woodhouse.

The exhibit called ‘The Suitcase’ presents a vast collection of traditional Pakistani items that were brought by several women to the UK over 60 years ago.

Explaining the history behind the display, Rasool said: “After World War II, the British wanted more people from the Commonwealth to work in factories, so people were given vouchers to encourage them to come here.”

After speaking to Shaheen and Mariam about her own mother’s suitcase, Rasool realised how common it was for her mother’s generation to carry all their sentimental belongings in one large case.

She said: “they’d take a suitcase with them full of objects that they brought from home. They would keep it full of letters and photos and so every time they felt lonely or missed home they would open it up to remember”.

When lockdown meant that the original exhibition at Wentworth Woodhouse had to be postponed, the trio were able to collect the stories of several women who had moved to the UK in the 1960s, which now appear among the belongings at the museum.

Among the items at the exhibit are a traditional red wedding dress, colourful jewellery and hair accessories, and a large hand sewing machine.

Also included are large prints of poems by famous Pakistani poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mohammed Iqbal.

The free exhibition at Clifton Park Museum will run until 21 November 2021.

The suitcases used to carry sentimental items as reminders of a life left behind.

Traditional wedding attire brought from Pakistan to England.

Most women could sew and would use a machine to make clothes and furnishings.