On Thursday 2 May Councillor David Meredith, the Chairman of Powys County Council came to the Museum to open the season officially for 2019.
There was a good crowd for the opening and a successful first week.
The new (replica) steps were featured, although sadly not quite finished.
The work was only been made possible because of the grants we have received from Powys County Council’s Community Regeneration and Development Fund, an anonymous Trust and the Community Foundation in Wales Powys Welsh Church Act. We are hugely grateful for this financial support.
Sue Hiley Harris, a weaver-sculptor from Brecon gave the first of our summer season of lectures on 17 May. It was a fascinating insight to the woollen industry in Brecon focusing particularly on the history of the Burges Mill from the early 16th century up until 1939.
The next summer season lectures is on 21 June at the Museum, at 7.00 (see below).
A photo of the new steps will join this one (left) taken in 1962, when they are finished!
Designed for Liberty (London)
Our major exhibition in 2019 will feature the work of our curator Stephanie Kemp who spent the decade of the 1980s designing, making and working with the famous London store - Liberty. It will feature fashion, fabric and photographs.
Come to the Museum in the evening on 21 June to hear Stephanie talk about her work and times with Liberty.
The Museum will be hosting a variety of events in 2019. These will include regular monthly demonstrations of spinning and weaving; evening talks and performances - tickets £3 at the door, but free to NTM Friends; and free small group 'taster' sessions in June, July and September (for which pre-booking will be required. More details as they come to hand). Ghost walks by arrangement.
Put these dates in your diaries to make sure you don't miss out. More to come...
June 1 & 2 In conjunction with the Walking Newtown Festival, the Museum will be open both day Saturday and Sunday over the weekend, allowing walkers to call in on their way around the town. Join their Heritage Walks and Heritage Treasure Hunts. See their website for details: http://newtown.org.uk/pages/newtown-walking-festival-2019
June 21 Evening talk 7.00-8.00pm Stephanie Kemp Designed for Liberty (London). The story behind the exhibition Stephanie worked for a decade for this famous shop in London. She will talk about her experiences there. £3 admission - NTM Friends - free.
June 22 Demonstration of spinning and weaving.
July 20 Demonstration of spinning and weaving.
July 26 Evening talk 7.00 - 8.00pm. Carrie White Amelia Ray. Draper of Newtown 1870 - 1880. Carrie has has a long connection with the Museum. She will talk about the collection of documents held at the Museum about the Ray family drapery business in Newtown during the period when Pryce Jones was also active, and their wide range of customers and suppliers.
August 17 Demonstration of spinning and weaving. Katie Weston, Debbie Francis and others
Sept 20 Musical evening. Weavers and their world - songs from the 19th Century performed by the folk charity TASC.
Sept 21 Demonstration of spinning and weaving. Katie Weston, Stephanie Kemp
Crimean military quilt
There is a picture hanging in the Royal College of Surgeons of a man sitting in bed sewing a quilt. His quilt was made of triangles, while the one on display at the Museum is tiny squares of densely woven worsted used in the production of military uniforms, predominantly red.
Soldiers were encouraged to take up needlework as a form of therapy for those injured in conflict and recuperating in hospital. An heirloom from the great great grandfather of our curator, this glorious woollen quilt is a reminder of the therapy of craft work. It is on loan to the Museum and is on display.
Marvel at the stitching and regularity of the quilting. We now have postcards of this picture for sale
Promoting Mid-Wales - it has a lot to offer
The Textile Museum is keen to work with other organisations in the Newtown area to encourage visitors to linger longer. We are already working with the Newtown Town Council; the Oriel Davies Gallery; the Robert Owen Museum; and WH Smith who also have a museum in their wonderful shop on High Street. We are working closely with Walking Newtown too. Check out the details of the NewtownWalking Festival on 1 & 2 June.
There are plenty of other places of interest in nearby towns such as Welshpool and Montgomery as well.
More recently we have set up links with the Mid-Wales Arts Centre near Caersws.