The Bathurst Heritage Museum is showing off a pair of 160-year-old puppets that have entertained audiences that have included a queen and a pope.
The Bathurst Heritage Museum is home to many local treasures but puppets that once belonged to William Patrick Baldwin are now on display.
Baldwin was born in 1860 with no arms. He made a name for himself travelling the world with a circus and using these puppets in his ventriloquism act.
Jessica Ryan, the manager with the Bathurst Heritage Museum, said she found these puppets fascinating.
"I fell in love with them when I saw them, right away. And I found they were intriguing and they really spoke to me, as much to say, ‘We have a story to tell,’" she said.
When Baldwin was performing with the puppets, he would control them with his feet.
"On the back of each of these puppets there is a dowel which leads to the jaw of the puppet. And so the dowel opens and closes the mouth. So when Patrick told the stories, he used his toes to work the dowel and the jaw would open and close. You can imagine how that amused people and children," Ryan said.
Ryan said the puppets performed in front of a pope as well as Queen Victoria.
"They went as far as to England and at that time Queen Victoria was the queen — 1894, 1895 around that period of time. And they actually, he actually told his stories, and mimicked his puppets to the queen," she said.
The puppets weren't the only draw, Baldwin could also juggle with his toes.