Summer season ended
The season ended on a high note for us as the Wonderwool Curtain of Poppies Exhibition attracted some additional visitors, and most of them took the opportunity to look around the Museum at the same time.
Visit the Wonderwool website to see more about their activities.
Review of the summer season
Every month we had busy days with weaving and spinning demonstrations. It was great to see so many visitors, including children, who came to watch and to try out various things. We will be hoping to offer even more opportunities for our visitors next summer. We participated in a DrawnTogether day, with some wonderful results. Click to see their webpage
We had a fabulous day on the 25th August. Geraint Parfitt the resident clog-maker at St Fagans National Museum of History came to the Museum. See the Clog section for more details.
Then later that week we had the first of what we hope will be a feature for us - an evening lecture. See the Welsh Costume section for more on that topic.
One evening in September, Rory Evans came to the Museum with a group on a Ghost Walk. By all accounts, it was a great success, and Rory is planning to repeat the event as often as there is demand. Check out his Youtube videos and Facebook site. Rory is very generous with his time and donates the proceeds to help us maintain the Museum. A wonderful gesture and a great evening's entertainment.
Other news from the summer:
We have had a steady stream of groups who come for tours in the museum . Our expert guides tell the groups all about the industrial history of Newtown as well as point out some of our special exhibits. Find out how to organise a tour for your group here.
We have started working with local schools. Some of the children of Penygloddfa school visited us in May to learn something of the social history of the area. They were wonderful in raising some money for our funds, and a group of the children visited the Museum in September to present us with a cheque.
Later in the summer, children from Hafren School also spent time in the Museum as did a group of students from the Newtown College.
We plan to encourage more schools to take part in 2019. If you think your school might be interested, do contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special event to finally wrap up the 2018 season
The Museum will be open for one final weekend
27 - 28 October
as part of Welsh Museums Festival Week.
NEWTOWN'S WATERWAYS - PAST AND PRESENT
In partnership with other groups in Newtown, the Museum will host an exhibition of items from its collection that feature the importance of both the River Severn and the Montgomery Canal to the industrial heritage of the town.
We are being joined for this event by River Severn Custodians, Open Newtown, Walking Newtown, Newtown Paddlers, Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, Canal Regeneration - Newtown, and Shropshire Union Canal Society.
Our partners will be working with the Museum, displaying items in a shop at 7 High Street, next to Glansevern - the Market Hall. Their displays will focus on the present and future use of the river and canal for leisure activities, whereas the Museum will focus on the past. You might be surprised by some of the things on show!
In addition, a guided walk will be held on each day at 11.30 which will expand on the history of the canal and mills.
There will be plenty of action and interest at both sites.
Thanks to the generous grants and funding we have received we will be able to proceed with the following projects:
- Over the winter months we will be having some new steps built in the back courtyard. They will be more in keeping with the building and its heritage.
- Participating in Welsh Museum's Festival Week on 27 and 28 October.
Check out those who have helped fund our work here.
At the Museum we have a great collection of clog making equipment including tools, and workbenches together with finished clogs and patterns.
Geraint worked in the courtyard showing us how to turn a log of sycamore into a pair of clogs with the traditional tools of the trade. He dyes the leather that he uses and puts the whole thing together in a variety of styles.
He provided a wealth of information and all our visitors were enthralled by his work. We are already planning for a similar day in 2019 and encourage you to come along next year for a similar great experience. Thanks to St Fagans for allowing him to come to us, and you can see him at work when you visit there.
Clog dancing originated from the patterns weavers made as they moved their feet on the loom pedals and the word clog derives from the mud accumulating on the footwear of the workers.
Thanks to Geraint for a wonderful day on the 25th August. Pictures below.
Welsh costumes exhibition - 2018
One corner of the top floor will now be dedicated to special exhibitions. This summer the focus was on Welsh costumes over the years.
In addition to the exhibition, Michael Freeman, an expert on Welsh Costumes came to the Museum to give us a really stimulating evening talk with illustrations. He told us of the complexities of studying costumes as all the accounts were written by outsiders, and how things like the colours were often altered in paintings to produce a 'better composition' rather than reflect the reality. He discussed each item - the gowns, the hats and the shawls in great detail.
Stephanie, our curator, has made a Welsh costume based on the designs discussed by Michael Freeman in his August talk. She wore it at the Newtown Food Festival at the beginning of Septemberwhere it was much admired.
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.
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. 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.