As the Framework Knitters Museum moves towards re-opening in October, we’re looking for new volunteers.
Ruddington residents will probably have noticed that the museum has been undergoing extensive building work over the last few months, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This money has allowed us to create a new entrance, reception, shop and cafe in the adjoining Gunn Cottage, which means we have more opportunities than ever for you to get involved in the museum’s visitor experience.
Our volunteers come with a range of interests including history and craft, but all share the common goal of helping our visitors have a fantastic time and gain a greater understanding of this unique site and its importance to Ruddington and the surrounding area.
Gill has volunteered at the museum for a number of years and this is what she says about her experience:
“When I made the decision to retire from full-time teaching, one of the first things I did was to enquire about becoming a volunteer at the museum. I was accepted and now nearly seven years on I can’t imagine NOT being a volunteer!
“I enjoy being in the shop welcoming visitors and telling them about the history of the museum and framework knitting in general. The visitors vary from those who know nothing about framework knitting to those who are researching their family history and framework knitting ancestors. Then there are the visitors who live locally to those, like the couple from New Zealand, who specially included the museum in their travel itinerary!
“I discovered that my great-great grandfather, Isaac Orme, was a framework knitter in Basford. So it feels only natural that I should be a volunteer and help to spread the word about this important part of our local history.”
Hannah is a recent graduate who has started volunteering over the summer. She says:
“Volunteering at the Framework Knitters’ Museum began, for me, as a form of work experience but has quickly become much more. The lovely staff and wonderful history of the site have charmed me to my core.
“History isn’t just important dates, names, and watershed moments like the invention of the framework knitting machine. It’s all aspects of past life, down to the most mundane morsel, such as what the Parkers had for breakfast, how the children didn’t put their toys away, or how Mr Parker greeted his family on returning from work. The Framework Knitters Museum is a uniquely beautiful site in that it tells these stories, including the tiny morsels, in the context of those watershed moments.
“I volunteer here for many reasons, but one of the most important is that I know I’ll take so much from working in such an incredibly loved and thoughtful museum that will leave its visitors with a very personal and enjoyable experience of history.”
Whether you have a day a week to spare or just a few hours – or perhaps you just want to help out at special events – we’d love to hear from you. All new volunteers are supported with training and information and there’s always someone to ask if you get a tricky question from a visitor.
We’re a very friendly community and the role is very varied, from welcoming visitors and helping in our new cafe and shop to getting involved in school visits or craft workshops. There’s always something interesting happening. So, if this sounds like your cup of tea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 984 6914. There’s also lots of information on the museum website: www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk.
Come and join our team. We need you!
Jan Perrett, Museum Assistant