Rolling out the red carpet for textile heritage

Whilst we are busy building this new website, we thought you might be interested to read about the award from the Heritage Lottery Fund that enabled us to create Kidderminster’s Museum of Carpet.  This press release of 17 June 2004 should help to set the scene…

Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £49,600, the rich heritage of Kidderminster’s carpet industry will be preserved for future generations and opened up for everyone to learn about and enjoy.

The Carpet Museum Trust will use the funds to catalogue their archives, which reveal the colour of day-to-day working life at the heart of a lively industry that was a major employer in Kidderminster.

Thought to be the most important of its type in the UK, the collection has grown rapidly in the last year with donations from individuals and local business. It includes photos, films and personal records as well as unique items such as the first loom to weave Royal Axminster carpets in 1878. Over 15 companies are represented in what will be a valuable resource for the local community and visitors alike.

HLF funds will enable a consultant archivist to assist and train volunteers from the Trust Friends group over two years. The collections will be catalogued and stored, a website created, and local people’s stories recorded to ensure that their proud memories are kept alive.

Anne Jenkins, HLF Regional Manager for the West Midlands said: ‘We are delighted to support this project which will preserve a nationally important collection, allowing everyone to discover this industry which put Kidderminster on the map. This is just part of HLF’s grants scheme which outlines our commitment to opening up the region’s diverse heritage’.

HLF’s grant will also pay for the production of a touring display and a series of six school packs containing a variety of educational materials, photos and other interesting objects aimed at the National Curriculum. Alongside a series of exhibitions and talks, the project will give everyone the opportunity to share and participate in their local heritage.

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