Newsletter – May/June 2020

The Museum, Park and lock down

Early the other morning on the way to the supermarket I sneaked into the Park. The blossom was magnificent. I also walked around the outside of the museum and found work is continuing on the roof. Hopefully by the time every thing is back to normal it will be finished!

Because of the current circumstances the events in the Museum, Garden and Park, organised by the ‘Friends’, have had to been cancelled until the end of July. I do not know what will happen after that date but I will keep you informed.

It was so disappointing to have to cancel the Spring Craft Fair as we had more people interested in having a stall than we could accommodate. Fortunately several have booked for the Victorian Christmas Fair in November which is encouraging.

The speakers we should have had at Tea & Cake meeting on a Wednesday afternoon during this period are booked for the first few months next year. The visit to the Coal Mining Museum can also be organised for June next year. The three concerts in the Park in May, June, and July have been booked for the same Sundays next year.

Unfortunately Mikron Theatre, who entertain us so wonderfully, have cancelled their whole years programme. We just hope that they will be back with us next year. It is so sad that we are not able to celebrate V E day celebrations in the Garden this May Bank holiday. We had organised a lady to come and sing 1940s songs and we planned to dress up accordingly. We will just have to find another occasion to have a celebration!

Cath and her colleagues of the Museum Service are busy despite the lock down. They have set a challenge! They want to know what is our favourite object in the Museum, why we like it so much and what we know about it’s story. They suggest a maximum 100 words. They will put the information on social media and the item which gets the most reaction will get a prize!

Ideas to I’ve already thought about mine! P.S. Want help! Look at the Friends of Tolson website. There is a list of 100 items in the Museum with pictures. Best of luck.

WOVEN – A Celebration of Innovation in Textiles

This is an event that is to take place bi annually in Kirklees. There were several events to mark the opening of this celebration last year but there are plans for a much bigger event next year 2021. In preparation for this plans are taking shape.
The ‘Friends’ are being involved in several events which I hope you will want to join.

  1. Tea & Cake 2pm on 12th August. This meeting will be devolved to learning about the experiences of working in the textile industry. I hope to have a speaker who has worked in a mill. However a contribution from any of you that come to our meetings and have worked in the textile trade would be really welcome. If you can bring along any photographs of mills or working in the mill that would also be great. Out of the discussions at this meeting I hope that I can compile a list of you who are prepared to later to write about your experiences in the textile trade or be recorded by me talking about your experiences for this ‘Celebration’ It does not matter in what capacity you worked or when it was. Also it does not have to be your own memories, it can be that of a friend or relative. (If necessary this can be later in the year!)
  2. How are you at sewing? Another interesting project that could come out of this relates to sewing skills. Many young people do not have basic sewing skills, such as sewing a button on or sewing up a hem. A group of people who have these skills, such as many of you who come to Tea & Cake, could share these abilities with children in a local school. It could be a really rewarding experience for all which could be planned for the autumn.
  3. Colouring the cloth is one of the processes in the making of textiles that is very important. Many dyes come from plants and the idea is that one of three ‘community gardens’ in the Heritage Memorial gardens is devoted to growing plants that provide a dye. There is some research that needs to be done to establish what plants we need to grow and what conditions they need to flourish, however this is a really interesting idea for those of us who love gardening.

I would welcome any ideas and thoughts on any of these projects, please email me or give me ring. These are really exciting projects.

I take part in ‘Zoom’ on line planning meetings so it would be wonderful to go to the next one in early June armed with some feedback from you. Don’t let me down!

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle are members of the British Association of Friends of Museums. The President of this organisation is HRH Duke of Gloucester. We have had message from him in these difficult times.

“Best wishes to all members, staff and volunteers while we enter unprecedented period of uncertainty and worry.”

HRH Duke of Gloucester

I am told “He is very much aware of the concerns that your people will have at the moment as this pandemic develops and would want you to know you are all very much on his mind.”

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: