Newsletter – Jan/Feb 2022

Picking up the pieces and going forward

There will be a full programme of speakers and entertainment at the Tea & Cake Meetings in 2022 in the Woodhead Hall, Tolson Memorial Museum.

The Tea and Cake meetings start at 2pm on the second Wednesday of each month. The only variation in the programme is that on the day of the meeting in June a a visit to another museum or park is organised. We should have paid a visit to National Mining Museum in June 2020. Earlier that year at the March meeting we had an excellent speaker from the Museum. who talked about the latest developments at the Museum. We were just not able to follow this up with a visit. However, hopefully, we shall get there this June.

We are starting this year with a talk about the Woodhead family. A well known Colne Valley family who among other things founded the Huddersfield Examiner long ago in 1850. The Examiner is still giving us local news every day, one of the few local newspapers still in business.

Museums and buildings in the heritage sector have been hit hard by the pandemic and so have ‘Friends of Museums’. Tolson Memorial Museum was closed for a while but is now open at weekends and holidays.

People often tell me that they went to Tolson Memorial Museum when they were children and how interesting it was. Well it still is, and your support in going to pay a visit is really needed now. Our museums are part of our heritage and one of the results of the pandemic is that in some areas some struggling museums have closed. We must not loose our very important local museum.

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle belong to the British Association of Friends of Museums. This keeps us in contact with Friends groups of other museums. During the pandemic many Friends groups were not able to keep in contact with their supporters which has meant the loss of some members. We managed to keep this newsletter going to keep contact with you. I think that I only missed one edition and we have had a moderate increase in our membership.

We were also fortunate that our committee were able to hold meetings by zoom. It took a bit of getting used to and not all our committee could access this medium but it kept most of us in contact. We were back to face to face meetings in October which was wonderful. We were able to continue gardening a lot of the time — even to holding a meeting in the Garden which was useful. Museums that have access to outside parks and gardens are able to more easily keep contact with their friends and helpers.

Programme 2022 in Tolson Memorial Museum

May 2022 is a special month for Tolson Memorial Museum. It will be 100 years since the Museum was opened. After two years of planning and gathering exhibits and negotiations with Huddersfield Corporation the Tolson Memorial Museum was opened in May 1922. The house, which is the museum, was built by John Beaumont. In memory of his nephews Robert Tolson and James Tolson killed in WW1 Legh Tolson donated the house to the people of Huddersfield. The key he was presented with is in the museum.

We plan a weekend of events on the weekend of 14th and 15th of May in the Museum and in the Heritage Memorial Garden. It will be really great to once again hold events in the Museum. Unfortunately we cannot have our usual St Valentines Day or Mothering Sunday Cream teas this year as the Morning Room and study are not open to the public. It is also not possible to hold a spring craft fair. We hope that this is just a hiccup and that we will be able to organise these events in future years.

We are however putting together a programme of events in the Heritage Memorial Garden. We have already several bands interested in entertaining us on a Sunday afternoon and Mikron Theatre are booked to come in September. The Motorcyclists are also looking forward to coming for their gathering in September.

Tea & Cake

The Woodheads of Huddersfield

2pm Wednesday 12th January.

Tolson Memorial Museum.

Family influences. By Pam Cooksey

Story of some exhibits in the museum

2pm Wednesday 9th February.

Tolson Memorial Museum.

Talk by assistant curator Nathan Smith

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The Committee of Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle meet once a month to plan the programme for the local community and support the work of the Museum. We look after the Heritage Memorial Garden. We would welcome any one who is interested in working with us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: