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Summer 2018

Message from our Chair - Janet

Welcome to our Summer newsletter! We are now half way through our summer season, in this our second full year of opening. It has been going well with the number of visitors and donations up on last year.  Visitor numbers have also been boosted from pre-booked tours from a variety of places and organisations, mostly local. We started the season well with a group from Les Herbiers in France, who were in Newtown through the town-twinning scheme. They found the Museum’s building and the history of weaving in the town interesting, with links to Les Herbiers’ past.

We have also been delighted to welcome the first organised visits of primary school children for what we hope will become  regular events. In addition to welcoming pupils from the same schools next year, discussions are being held with the other primary schools in the town to explore their interest.

The changes made over the winter, especially to the top floor, have been enthusiastically received. Ideas are now being discussed for what other things we can do to expand what the Museum offers – and what improvements can be put in hand for next winter. We are also constantly thinking about how we can publicise what we are doing more widely.  

We have had lovely, positive comments from our visitors, but many people are not aware of our existence – something we need to change. Please spread the word!

 

Lecture, A History of Welsh Costume: 30 August 7.00pm

Michael Freeman is a former curator of Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth and a leading authority on Welsh costume and  quilts. Tickets for this event cost £3.00, but there is limited seating favailable, so if you would like to attend the lecture, please reserve your seat in advance by following this link.

Family historians

We have welcomed several family historians from far and wide to the museum this summer – from both New South Wales (Australia) and from South Wales – Cardiff.  Those with ancestors from Newtown are likely to find family members involved in the wool trade, weavers or spinners, or related trades. It is great to be able to show how these families lived in the mid-1800s in Newtown. We are so fortunate to have the structure of our building largely unchanged and it is easy to picture the living and working conditions when you visit.

Work on the early census data of 1841 is on-going to try to provide visitors with easily accessible lists of names and occupations for those living in Penygloddfa, as well as giving statistical information on their occupations. Later years will follow.


Forthcoming events – Not to be missed!  Check the web site for details.

18 August:    Demonstration of spinning and weaving. Also, Amy Sterly from the Drawn Together project will be at the Museum to encourage visitors to do some drawings.
25 August:    Geraint Parfitt, clog maker, from St Fagans, showing us the skills needed for this ancient craft.
30 August:     Michael Freeman, expert on Welsh Costume, will give a talk at the Museum at 7.00pm (see below for further details).  
15 September:    Demonstration of spinning and weaving.


 


Success of school visits

Around 90 pupils from Penygloddfa Primary School – just up the hill from the Museum - and 11 pupils from Hafren Junior School visited us. Penygloddfa reported the impact that the visit had on their pupils:

"Some of them on their end of year reports said it was one of their most enjoyable parts of the year! Following on from the visit, all of the children have been weaving and we have even started a weaving club, thanks in no small part to the textile museum!"

The visit also inspired the children to organise a fund raising event on our behalf which provided the Museum with a generous donation. We are very grateful to all the children and staff and we hope that this is the start of a long and happy relationship with the school.

A Newtown College Group also visited us and said. "We all enjoyed seeing the museum and learning all about this history."

 


Demonstrations

If you weren’t at the Museum on Saturday 21st July, you missed a treat!. We had three weavers showing very different techniques used to create both practical and artistic work. Katherine Keatley, dressed in costume, demonstrated on her iron-age style loom, showing the simple methods used. In contrast Irene Evison brought two tapestry looms. She was working on an artistic piece for an exhibition on one, and the other was available for visitors to try.  As if that wasn’t enough, Stephanie, our curator, was working on her loom – a more traditional style – as well. The place was abuzz with visitors creating a great atmosphere.

Satisfied customers

Pick of the visitor comments

"What a wonderful hidden gem right in the heart of Newtown. Superb artefacts and history!"

"Not only lovely but ‘really great fun’. You step back into a ‘forgotten’ era, learn about the weaving history and industry."

"Great volunteers, lots of knowledge!"

This is all down to the wonderful work of our Curator, committee members and volunteers. 

Don’t forget that we are always looking for more volunteers to help to keep the Museum open. Please contact admin@newtowntextilemuseums.co.uk if you would like to help in any way.

A recent survey for Independent Museums showed that 18% of their visitors came because they had been told about the Museum by someone else.  Are you a member of another local group ?  Do your friends and family know about the Textile Museum ?  Please do pass on our info. We have leaflets available at the Museum and at numerous tourist sites. Full information can also be found on our website http://www.newtowntextilemuseum.co.uk

Thanks for Subscribing


The team at Newtown Textile Museum wants to extend a hearty 'thank you' to all of our wonderful supporters.
We are very interested in any comments you may have about our newsletter so please contact us at admin@newtowntextilemuseum.co.uk

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Newtown Textile Museum Committee · 5-7 Commercial Street · Newtown, Powys SY16 2BL · United Kingdom

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