Museum wins top award!

Champagne corks popped as the town’s Museum of Carpet celebrated after picking up the Little Treasure Award at the Group Travel Organiser ceremony in London GTA Logo 2014on Friday 3 June.

Celebrating the 20th UK Group Travel Awards, the ceremony was hosted by Christopher Biggins. The star of TV from Porridge to I’m A Celebrity, Christopher Biggins has graced our screens for over 30 years. This multi-talented actor, humourist, writer and general raconteur counts the world’s most glamorous stars as his best friends and brought his own inimitable sense of humour and warmth to the event.

Each year the readers of GTO magazine are asked to vote for who they think are the best suppliers in more than 20 categories. From the pre-visit information and transport to get the group there to where groups stay and what they visit when they get there, all aspects of putting together group trips are covered.

The Museum scooped the Little Treasure award which is decided by the editors of the GTO magazine. They like to nominate those attractions that are hidden gems, which punch above their weight by offering an excellent visit and first-class service.

 

Faye Gilmore and Linda Davis attended the ceremony for the Museum. They picked up the prestigious award bringing it back to the Museum where it will go on display alongside the other recent awards, including Best Tourism Experience, voted for by Visit Worcestershire.

 

 


 

Jubilant Museum celebrates HLF award!

HLFNL_2747Staff and volunteers at the town’s Museum of Carpet are celebrating after securing a grant of £49,200 from Heritage Lottery Fund, Transition Grant.

As Charles Talbot, Chairman of the Board, and longstanding member of the Carpet Museum Trust said: “Receiving this grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is going to make a significant impact on the Museum’s ability to face our future financial and funding challenges. It signals that the Museum can look forward to stronger future where it can continue its work to inspire and enthuse the town about its unique history and heritage”.

Transition Funding is only awarded to a handful of organisations and is available to organisations in the UK who want to achieve significant strategic change – through acquiring new skills or knowledge, or new models of governance, leadership, business and income – in order to become more resilient and sustain improved management of heritage for the long term.

The grant will be used to employ two staff to help more people find out about what the Museum can offer. Sue Hetherington will be employed to further develop the Museum’s schools programme which last year saw nearly 1,000 school children visit and take part in workshops on carpet making and its history. Philip Clayton will soon join the team and his role is to develop the Museum’s oral history project, Floored by Memory, designed to capture the town’s memories of its world dominating industry and help create the new people’s exhibition space where the Museum hopes to bring more stories from people who once worked in the carpet trade to the forefront.

The funding will also be used to encourage more people to get involved as a volunteer at the award-winning Museum and join the team of about 50 people who regularly help out. The Museum is keen to hear from anyone who might want to get involved, and is particular interested to hear from anyone who can help run its power looms which visitors particularly enjoy seeing working when they visit.

 

 

 

 

We’ve registered for Children’s Art Week 2016

Join us as we explore Fote Lights!

The first cloth to be put on the floor was called ‘Fote cloth’.  Be inspired by the beautiful ‘Fote Cloth’ designs in the Museum of Carpet and create your own pattern on acetate paper.  We will display your designs in the windows of the Museum of Carpet, shedding coloured light throughout the building.

11- 19 June 2016 – book it in your diary now!

engage has announced that there are already more than 70 events registered for Children’s Art Week. The event will take place from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 June and is supported by the National Association for Decorative and Fine Art Societies (NADFAS) and the Kirby Laing Foundation. Last year more than 18,000 children, young people […]

via Register Now For Children’s Art Week 2016 — AIM Blog for independent museums and heritage sites

Weavers’ Union, Community, backs Museum!

Staff at the town’s award-winning Museum of Carpet are celebrating after being awarded £4,000 from the TUUT Charitable Trust to support its ‘Weaving Futures; Woven Pasts’ education project. The application for the grant was backed by the Community Union, whose Lead Organiser, Gavin Miller, a well-known face in the carpet industry, wrote a letter of support.

Community, the successor to the Power Loom Carpet Weaver and Textile Union (PLCWTWU) was originally involved in establishing the educational charity in 2012. The trade union is keen to ensure that the many paper records and documents held by the Museum that relate to the original trade union, the Weavers’ Association, and the infamous weavers strikes that occurred in the town in 1828, are available to the public.

Paul Mills, incoming President of Community, and a member of staff at Brinton’s, was pleased that the TUUT Charitable Trust – the philanthropic arm of the trades unions – had made this award. He said, ‘This museum holds the heritage of the carpet industry in its hands and brings to life the craft skills of carpet weaving that have almost disappeared as a result of globalization. Social history is writ large as volunteer weavers, pickers and creelers talk about their own pasts and celebrate the impact on the town and its people of this once world-beating industry. Museums like this that celebrate our industrial history must be supported and encouraged.’

Paul is pictured here with Marion Colverd, General Manager, TU Fund Managers’ Limited, and Gavin Miller, Lead Organiser, Community.

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The project aims to help keep alive the craft skills involved in weaving carpet which is especially important in the wake of recent job losses and closures of production lines in the town. Part of the money will also be used to help recruit more volunteers, like Audrey Weeks, who joined the team after a working life spent on the Axminster loom and now helps deliver demonstrations on the Museum’s two looms on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. As well as showing the craft skills involved in weaving, visitors can purchase rugs in the shop, and the proceeds of these go to help keep the Museum open.

 

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Museum’s Red Lucienne Day!

Kidderminster’s Museum of Carpet is celebrating after being visited by the celebrity fashion designer, Wayne Hemingway as part of BBC 2’s Celebrity Antiques Roadshow which was broadcast on 11 January at 7.00pm.

Wayne founded the fashion label, Red or Dead, in the 1980’s with his wife, Geraldine, as a way to bring designer fashion to the reach of everyone, and the range went on to be sold in places such as Top Shop and Miss Selfridge. Today the team work a range of companies such as John Lewis, a business that shares their commitment to design and social fairness.

Wayne was keen to visit the Museum of Carpet when he found out that it holds about 50 collection samples and items associated with one of his design icons, Lucienne Day. Lucienne worked as a carpet designer at Tomkinson’s Ltd in the 1960’s and is credited with creating some of the most popular designs. Theirs was a partnership underpinned by a shared passion for being creative and a love of design as a force of good.

Lucienne and Robin Day met at the college dance at The Royal College of Art and in 1940 got married. The design duo then spent the next 67 years together building up an acclaimed body of work that will remain forever iconic. Whilst Lucienne designed carpets, fabrics and curtains, Robin will best be remembered for the polypropylene stacking chair. This was considered revolutionary at the time and appeared in every village hall, school or waiting room. As a product, the chair, usually in bright orange, fulfilled his stated aim for great design to be affordable and available to all.

As Museum Manager, Caroline Taylor, said, “This visit really helps put the Museum of Carpet on the design trail as Wayne is a major force in fashion, interiors and architecture today. He’s got a real interest and passion for good quality design that is functional, yet attractive to the eye and many of our carpets fit into that description. We hope that by having such a big figure in contemporary design on board, we could really show the value of our collections to people seeking artistic inspiration or just wanting to see good, clean patterns.’

 

The programme follows two celebrities as they trail around an area visiting local antique shops and auctions purchasing antiques that they then sell at auction for profit. Wayne was accompanied by local antiques expert, Philip Serrell, who based in Malvern is a good friend to the Museum. Philip has offered his professional opinion on items donated to the Museum in the past.

Melvyn Thompson, local historian and keen Museum volunteer explained to both men the history of the town and the heritage of carpet making. He explained how ‘stuff’ – a patterned heavy cloth – laid the seeds for the carpet trade which became a world-leading industry as Kidderminster carpets were laid in palaces and stately homes across the globe, including the Houses of Parliament and the White House.

As the centenary of Lucienne’s birth is coming up in 2017 the Museum is hoping that Wayne will co-curate an exhibition on the impact of the couple on design in the 1950’s and 1960’s, a heyday time for the carpet industry when approx. 15,000 local people were employed in the trade.

 

Chloe Clarke snippet

A little bit of verse from Chloe Clarke who performed at the recent Light and Shade event for National Poetry Day with our favourite wordsmith, Heather Wastie.

Carpet People

And what a legacy they left

the sound of the machines are still beating in their blood lines

They kept soldiers warm after years of fighting their own battles in the cold

Fingerprints of their existence

Inked themselves over the whole town, country,

Even world

A museum of memories to encapsulate their years

A shrine to their blood sweat and tears.

© Chloe Clarke   Commissioned by Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster, October 2015

Featured

Award Winning Museum!

Kidderminster’s Museum of Carpet is celebrating after being recognised as a top performing visitor attraction by Visit Worcestershire in its annual awards ceremony.

Voted Best Tourism Experience, the Museum based in Kidderminster, celebrates its third birthday on 18 October. Containing the national collection of carpets and carpet related objects and artefacts, the Museum honours the 300 year old history of carpet making in the town.

Staff and volunteers at the Museum were delighted when they received the award beating off stiff competition from two other attractions, Spetchley Park Gardens and Three Counties Showground.

Kidderminster’s newest Museum now joins other tourist attractions from across the country in the Visit England awards which take place later this year.