The News and Events

 We are open now for the season so plan your visit 


Open on Tues, Thurs, Fri and Sat each week   12.00 - 16.00


Full details of all the exciting events planned for the rest of the summer are now available 


NEWS 2024


Wonderwool and the Braid Society Exhibition

It is great to report that both these two events were very successful.

Victoria did a wonderful job at Wonderwool, our stand was well attended and she had  the opportunity to talk to lots of people about the museum and our events.  Some visitors had already been to  the museum en route to Wonderwool and some were visiting on their way home at the end. Both the Braid Society and our stand promoted the Braid Society events which were held at the museum.

As a result of all  their efforts, there were 10 people who came to the Try Braiding workshop at the Museum.

A great start to our season and thanks to all concerned

Braid Society Exhibition
This exhibition to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of  the Society was on display at the Museum from 23 April until 11 May.  It brought lots of visitors to the Museum for the demonstrations and a Try Braiding workshop.  Thanks to all involved.

If you missed  the exhibition, contact the Society if you are interested in their work.

Events coming up

Plenty of action planned for the summer, so check out the full list here

Visit to Steve Attwood-Wright's studio

Some of the volunteers and friends visited Steve's studio near Sarn recently.  You can read an account of their visit here, and see some images from the day. 

Summer Exhibition.

21 May to 28 September

Sport and Leisure in Newtown:  1875 - 1914

Our main exhibition for the summer will explore the ways that weavers and others spent their leisure . Using objects from our collection, we take a look at some of these activities, including football in Newtown, which was an important centre for the organised game in Wales. The Royal Welsh Warehouse Sport and Recreation Society ran all sorts of sporting and cultural events which drew large crowds to the town

Why do so many sporting events start at 3.00pm on a Saturday afternoon?.

What prompted 20,000 people to visit Newtown on a July afternoon in 1912?

What is the connection between bicycles and carnival floats? 

These are just three questions answered in our new exhibition showing from 21 May until 28 September 2024.

School visits

A couple of the local schools took advantage of the opportunity to visit the museum in March  even though we were not yet open to the public.  It was great to welcome them and give them a glimpse into life in the mid 1800s in Newtown. 

Another school visit is planned for June.  We welcome enquiries from schools, and are keen to work with them.  

Accreditation granted

 We are delighted to tell you that we were awarded Full Accreditation by Arts Council England in 2023. We were congratulated on a very strong application which was the result of a lot of hard work by all those involved with the Museum, in particular the members of  the committee.  This status will help us going forward, in particular with applications for grants which are vital to our future. 
(For those unsure what Accreditation is all about, it means that we have been assessed against agreed standards for managing our collection properly, engaging with our visitors and being governed appropriately - all important things for running a museum well). 
Accreditation certificate

New Loan

Laura Ashley wedding dress. Do visit us to see this dress. 

The dress is vintage Laura Ashley, believed to be circa early 1980s. The sample label sewn inside shows a date of 25/7/85. It has been loaned to the Museum by Rory Evans and it is lovely to see it on display in the Amelia Ray draper's shop (even though it was made about 100 years after Amelia's shop was operating). Thanks Rory. 

The dress is believed to have been a sample piece which was then put into production. As such, it was never bought by a customer or worn as a wedding dress. It was apparently displayed in the window of the Laura Ashley shop in Newtown.

Detail on Laura Ashey wedding dress
Wedding dress and veil on display

Photographs 

John Owen, Victorian Photographer

Recently the Museum has acquired a collection of photographs taken by John Owen of Newtown. He had a studio in Broad Street for about 40 years, and many Newtonians took advantage of his business to have their portraits taken.  Pryce Jones and his wife Eleanor Morris are shown in this image. 

 A dressing-up area and photo booth are part of the Museum now. Imagine yourself living in one of our cottages - a family with lots of children for example. 

Inspired by John Owen,  visitors of all ages will be able to try on some replica Victorian clothes and photograph themselves within our atmospheric Recreated Bedroom.  The fireplace setting will be styled to resemble a Victorian photography studio. We hope it will be fun and interactive, and encourage repeat visits too!

Dress up, like Jo in our picture, or as a 'grease monkey' ( as the young lads were known) One of their jobs was to light the candles each morning so the weavers could start work while it was still dark)

Join in the fun of dressing up then take away your portrait photo as a reminder of your visit and post your photos on social media with the #newtowntextilemuseum tag.

Mr & Mrs Pryce JonesJohn Owen photo back showing shopJo dressed for a period photoDressing up for a period phot-shoot

Reception and shop

The Museum has really benefitted from the new Reception and shop area that was completed in 2023. It would not have been possible without the help of the Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and the Ashley Family Foundation so a big thank you to them.  Don't forget to check out the variety of things we have for sale when you visit. The sales support both local artisans and the Museum.  If you would like to know more about our suppliers, check out their details here
Museum reception desk and shop

Exhibition 2023 - Amelia Ray: a Victorian entrepreneur at the cutting edge'

If you missed our 2023 exhibition, we have made some of the information boards available for you,  which complement the You-Tube video available on the link below.

They feature Amelia Ray, who ran a successful draper's shop in High Street, Newtown for a decade during the 1870s where the shopping experience was changing rapidly with the coming of the railways and the postal service. We have a large collection of papers about her business which tell us about her customers and her suppliers. She was in direct competition with Pryce Jones whose shop was nearby until he moved his business to the new Royal Welsh Warehouse near the station in 1879. 

To catch up on what you missed, head for the Past Exhibitions where you can see several of our past exhibitions listed.  NB these links work better if you have a full screen on your computer, or a tablet device. You will be surprised by some of the interesting jobs that a draper's shop took on at the time. We have an excellent Exhibition Guide, a few copies of which are still available if you contact us, which tells more of the story. 

If you would like a short preview of the exhibition, check out this YouTube link. 

Exhibition guide front cover. Amelia Ray

The Museum Shop

 Some of the items for sale in our shop
Hand-woven bags for saleWoven pursesKnitted blue titsFelt broochesGreetings cards with sheep pictureswoven book marks and glasses casesMugs and neck warmers for saleShopping bags and quilted items for sale

Are you a bookworm? 

A recent visitor told us of a novel that referred to the flannel mills in Newtown: Not one of us by Alis Hawkins. We have started to put together a list of books which we are told feature the weaving industry in Newtown or just the life of the town which we will put on display for visitors. Check out this list for the suggestions so far:
We need help on two fronts? Have you heard or read any more books featuring Newtown and or the weaving industry in Wales.  And  do you have any copies which you could donate or lend to the Museum for this project. If you can help please contact Christine Davies on committee02@newtowntextilemuseum.co.uk  She would love to hear from you.

Want to help?

We are always keen on recruiting additional volunteers to join our friendly team of hosts.  You probably know that the Newtown Textile Museum is an independent museum, managed and run entirely by volunteers. We are enthusiastic and dedicated but we need to grow our team so we need your help. Hosts receive training and work in pairs to run the museum on the days it is open to the public.  Some tasks continue over the winter when we are closed, but they are still important.  If you have some time to give, maybe you could help in....
  • welcoming visitors to our reception and shop

  • engaging with our visitors - bringing local history to life

  • assisting with our schools and group visits

  • caring for our historic collection

  • providing DIY skills

  • looking after our building

  • documenting museum artefacts

  • organising events

Contact us on: volunteer@newtowntextilemuseum.co.uk
We are looking for a new member of our team, a marketing and engagement person. Check out the How to Help page for details.

We are so lucky

Emily, shown here working on a dress in our collection, was a great addition to the Museum for the summer of 2021, and she was able to spend a few weeks with us again in 2022. A student at Nottingham Trent University she is studying Costume Making and Design, and she came to gain some experience of working in a Museum. Wonderful for us, and hopefully useful for her too.  
This  wedding dress  from 1881 that Emily is checking has a matching skirt and a cape, and as you can see, was made in Newtown. 
We know  that Henry Morgan had a drapery store in the High Street and it was worn by Ann Rogers, but there are always lots of questions in Museums and we would love to know more. It would be great if you could share any information with us.
The dress is now on display at the Museum 

Check out these links

We have discovered some things about 
Conservation work on wedding jacketWedding jacket from 1880sMakers tag in wedding jacket

Another development. We are now featured on Twinkl's Museum Campaign - an education website of teacher-created planning and assessment materials. Twinkl also have a wide variety of museum-related resources on their site.

Photography

In 2019 we had a visit from a local photographer - Polly Lovegrove.  She took some great photos and a few are displayed below.  Thanks Polly.  ©Polly Lovegrove
Polly Lovegrove photo of work on loomPolly Lovegrove image of loom threadsPolly Lovegrove image of work with shuttle and threadsPolly Lovegrove image of loom floor