Those attending the official re-opening of Ruddington’s famous Framework Knitters’ Museum got to see it in a different light…. the dark!
Staff and volunteers at Ruddington’s now internationally acclaimed tourist attraction welcomed invited guests to see the newly expanded site at 4pm on Tuesday 23rd November – and it was soon apparent why this time was chosen.
As night fell, the workers’ cottages – recently restored to how they would have looked in 1890 – and the museum’s new Community Garden were lit by candles and other illumination appropriated to the era, whilst dancing images depicting framework knitting were projected onto the exterior wall of one frameshop.
The frameshop interiors were rather more brightly illuminated, to allow various mechanical knitting demonstrations to be given to the evening’s special visitors, as was the site’s piece-de-resistance; the brand new reception, gift shop and cafe area created from what used to be ‘Gunn Cottage’. This re-purposed building has now become an integral part of the enlarged museum, along with its former garden.
As well as providing a striking new entrance for visitors, it also links together the original buildings and the old Knitters’ Chapel to allow access to all areas from within one site – as well as doubling the size of the museum for its 50th year.
Like many other places, The Framework Knitters’ Museum was forced to close during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, this downtime actually gave additional flexibility and opportunities for major expansion and remodelling to take place there, funded by The Heritage Lottery Heritage Fund, FCC Communities Foundation, various other trusts, and a number of private sponsors and donors.
The Museum is now open until 18th December between 11am and 4.30pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays. Entry to the Gift Shop, Tea Room and Chapel Art Gallery – now rechristened “Parkers Yard” – is free. Find out more at www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk.
Graham Wright via RUDDINGTON.info