The Framework Knitters Museum on Chapel Street is gearing up for what could be its most successful year to date. Further to securing Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) last year, plans are now afoot to put the museum’s ambitious redevelopment and expansion project – christened “A Right Good Yarn” – in motion.
This will see the site as we know it transformed, with a new visitor route, enhanced interactive displays and exhibitions, a new and improved shop and café, and lots of activities for visitors to enjoy.
Playing a key role in bringing these plans to fruition will be Jim Grevatte, the museum’s new Manager and Curator, who came on board in November 2018. Jim arrives in Ruddington with many years’ experience, having worked at The Galleries of Justice, as Regional Museums’ Advisor for East Midlands’ MLA and most recently as a well-respected museums’ consultant.
As well as working on the HLF project, Jim has lots of other plans for the museum, including offering “behind the scenes” insights into the site’s extensive collections and some of its hidden secrets. The first of these will be on Thursday 11th April, where people will have the opportunity to have a go at some of the traditional skills and activities that keep this unique place alive. There’ll also be information on the wide range of volunteering opportunities that the site has to offer.
The museum’s popular kids’ craft activity, the Griswold Gang, will return for half term on Thursday 21st February and in the Easter holidays on Thursday 11th April. The Griswold Gang is free to attend, although donations are welcome, and booking isn’t required. Sessions run from 11am to 3pm in the Chapel.
But it’s not just about events, of course. “I want to help people understand the significance of the textile industry and the number of connections it has to people’s lives and histories,” says Jim. He’s planning to deliver this in a variety of ways, including a social media campaign, family history workshops and a community workshop project, potentially involving local schools.
An exciting oral history project – funded by the Co-op Local Community Fund – will record residents’ personal memories of Chapel Street, to help commemorate the museum’s 50th anniversary of its establishment next year.
In the meantime, Jim has already re-launched “Museum News” with a brand new format and design. You can download a copy of the January 2019 edition from the museum website or ask to be added to the mailing list for future issues.
Educational links have always been close to the museum’s heart, so Jim will also be working to strengthen links with local schools, colleges and universities. At the same time, the museum is planning to extend its work with vulnerable groups, including disabled youngsters and refugees.
To support these activities and help with the day to day running of the museum, Jim is currently recruiting a part-time Museum Assistant. He also hopes to grow his team of volunteers, from those wanting to learn the skills of a knitter to those that can spare a few hours once a year.
The Framework Knitters Museum reopens on Friday 1st February after its winter break. Until Easter, opening hours will be Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm. For more information, visit www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk, call 0115 984 6914 or email email@example.com.
Faye Stenson, with thanks to Graham Wright and RUDDINGTON.info