Spring Newsletter – January 2014

Heritage Lottery to fund a Heritage Memorial Garden at Tolson Museum

Heritage Memorial Garden Plan

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle have been awarded £97,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a memorial garden. This award is to remember the men and women of Huddersfield, who died whilst serving their Country in conflicts from 1914 to the present day. The ‘Friends’ have to raise £5,000.  The project is a partnership between Kirklees Council’s Parks team, the Museums and Galleries Service and the Friends.

Ravensknowle Hall, now Tolson Memorial Museum, was given to the people of Huddersfield by Legh Tolson as a memorial to his nephews, Robert Huntriss Tolson and James Martin Tolson, who were killed in the fighting in France in the First World War.

This grant provides a wonderful opportunity to create an outdoor memorial for all to enjoy. As part of the project the ‘Friends’ will be collecting the experiences of people and their families in Huddersfield who lived through World War II. Also we will be collecting the experiences of service men and women who served in conflicts since 1945.

This will help to inform the development of the memorial garden. If you would like to contribute to this work, we would be delighted to hear from you. You could be involved in either the collection of memories, or in providing your experience.

As part of the creation of the garden, an artist will work with young people, local community groups and the Friends to create art works in the garden. The ‘Friends’ are also committed to be involved in the building of some stone walls and planting flower beds, overseen by professionals. We would very much welcome any help with this work. The ‘Friends’ are also researching the original layout of the gardens of Ravensknowle Hall.

A unique part of the garden will be a space designed for drama, music and other outdoor performances, and we will be putting together a programme. There will also be further development of the website. The garden will open later in 2014.


Wednesday afternoons ‘Tea & Cake’ events. 2.00 – 3.30pm at Tolson Museum

We are delighted to say that for a short slot at the start of each of the following meetings, we are to be joined by a museum curator, who will talk briefly about one of the items in the museum. This is a real opportunity to hear an expert explain the importance of some items of our heritage.

12th February 2014 – Tolson Heritage Memorial Garden.

Hear about where it is and how you can be involved in the plans.

12th March 2014 – An afternoon of War time memories from the 1940s.

9th April 2014 – We are collecting memories from conflicts since 1945. Perhaps you would like to tell us yours.

14th May 2014 – Tolson Heritage Memorial Garden update. Join us to play bowls.

Future events

Classic motorbike rally in September. To be confirmed

In the autumn a series of talks by lecturers from Huddersfield University on different aspects of the Tolson museum and the history of Huddersfield. Titles and subjects to be confirmed.

Opening of the Heritage Memorial Garden – still aiming for sometime in late May!

Cleaning Task Force

The Friends are setting up a working party to work on cleaning exhibits in the museum. This group will probably work for a few hours once a month. Please let us know if you would like to join us. A brief training will be required to undertake this work.

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: secretary@friendsoftolson.org