Talks

Carpet Cool! 250 Years of Kidderminster Design

The Museum of Carpet presents Carpet Cool! 250 years of Kidderminster Design, the first in a series of talks for new audiences in these new times.

Written and presented by historian Dr Anthea Harris-Fry, this talk explores Kidderminster’s trailblazing place at the forefront of design in the carpet industry.  It charts the evolution of carpets from the elaborate hand-loom patterns of the eighteenth century through the industrial revolution to the designs of the present day.

Highlighting famous designers such as William Morris, Charles Voysey and Lucienne Day and their influence on the carpet industry, the talk explores how design reflects and shapes the world around it.  It weaves a picture of the impact of industrial advances and social and economic changes over the past 250 years on design, as consumer tastes and architectural practices evolved. Harris-Fry also asks how changes in our preferences and ways of life might shape carpet design in a post-pandemic world.

Capturing the global evolution of art and design throughout the Victorian period to the swinging sixties and beyond, it centres its discussion on design in Kidderminster, the pioneering ‘carpet capital of the world’.

Available to book from 1st March 2021, this zoom talk is perfect for societies and groups with an interest in art, history, and what is under their feet!  Attendees will enjoy a richly-illustrated talk with recorded anecdotes from past and present carpet designers and the opportunity to contribute to discussion and ask questions.

For enquiries please contact the Museum of Carpet at bookings@museumofcarpet.org.uk.

Book a talk or walk

banner_web_Melvyn's Books

Talk – Woven in Kidderminster An excellent illustrated talk looking at the history of the carpet industry in the Kidderminster, Stourport, Bewdley and Bridgnorth area.

Talk – Mills and Tall Chimneys of Kidderminster An exploration of Kidderminster’s heritage, this includes a visual tour of a carpet factory and includes unique historic pictures to show the industry at work. A recommended follow-up to Woven in Kidderminster.

Talk – The Kidderminster & Stourport Electric Tramway Co. They might not be carpets, but the trams were very much a part of the life of the towns between 1898-1929.

Talk – The Magic Carpet: Hand knotted carpets from the Orient An illustrated talk focussing on the history of hand knotted carpets.

The talks have been written by Melvyn Thompson, museum historian, based on his published works about the carpet industry and the local history of Kidderminster. Time: Each talk normally lasts about 1 hour Equipment: We can bring own projector and screen if required Costs: The Museum of Carpet is a registered charity and donations, depending on the size of the organisation but a minimum of £50, are invited towards the cost of maintaining the Museum and its extensive Archive Collection Travel: Our speakers are happy to travel reasonable distances but request assistance with petrol and any other expenses Merchandise: Copies of Melvyn’s books can be made available at the talks

Film – Reel Stories Film Show Enjoy a night at the movies and view some of our archive films of Kidderminster and the carpet industry. The films are a selection of local promotional films made by the town’s carpet firms and are from the hey day period of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Time: Each showreel normally lasts about 1 hour Equipment: We can bring own projector and screen if required Costs: The Museum of Carpet is a registered charity and donations, depending on the size of the organisation but a minimum of £50, are invited towards the cost of maintaining the Museum and its extensive Archive Collection Travel: Our speakers are happy to travel reasonable distances but request assistance with petrol and any other expenses

Walk – Town Centre Carpet Walk Explore what remains of Kidderminster’s Carpet Heritage during this walk around the town centre. Approx. 1.5 hours duration

Walk – Canal Towpath Carpet Walk Going from Caldwall Mill to Limekiln Bridge, this fascinating walk will show how the canals provided Kidderminster with great trade connections to the rest of the country. Approx. 2 hours duration

Bookings and information, please contact the Museum on 01562 69028 or email bookings@museumofcarpet.org.uk for more information or enquiries