This Newsletter contains printed materials recovered using OCR technology
|2. Registration Report:||The move from provisional to full registration with the Museums and Galleries Commission|
|3. Museum Education:
||A summary of our educational services|
||A poem by one of our younger visitors|
|5. Wandle Park Improvement project:
||A short note about the background and theplans|
|6. Wandle Trail in 1996:
||Colin Saunders reports on the current state of the Trail|
We are pleased to report on two school visits and workshops at the Museum in December from new members Wimbledon House School. We also presented a textile workshop at Pelharn First School.
The William Morris Mobile Exhibition went out for its final appearance during the Centenary Year, to Ham Library as part of their William Morris Centenary celebrations. We have enjoyed participating in local events during the 1996 celebrations and the mobile exhibition has successfully promoted our Museum.
Past. On Thursday, December 5th 1996, 30 members and friends enjoyed our first Museum Christmas Party in the Vestry Hall. We were very pleased to welcome the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr. John Cole and Mrs. Betty Cole, who stayed with us for most of the evening and were introduced to all the Volunteers who help the Museum in so many different ways. Host for the evening was the Reverend Andrew Wakefield, Chairman of the Members Sub-Committee of the Museum. The mulled wine which everyone so enjoyed was personally prepared and served to Members by Andrew and helped to get everyone into a festive mood. This event was a great success and it is to be hoped it can be repeated next year. Later in the evening some people stayed to watch the video "Topsy" on the Life of William Morris, which featured the Museum model of the William Morris Workshops.
Present. A visit to see the new Wandsworth Museum is planned for Saturday,
March 22nd at 2.00 p.m. We have been promised an introductory talk by the Deputy Curator, Sue Barber. As plans are in hand for our Museum exhibition to be redesigned and built for the Ravensbury Mill site, it will be interesting to hear about how their plans were developed.
For those interested, some people may like to meet in "The Brewery Tap" in Wandsworth High Street at 1.00 p.m. The Museum is at "The Courthouse", 11 Garratt Lane, S. W. 18. Entrance is free.
Savacentre Fund Raising Day This took place at very short notice on Saturday, January 4th on a very cold winter's day. We had a stall, an exhibition about our move to Ravensbury Mill and collecting boxes on the Lower Concourse of the Savacentre. Altogether £240 was raised for Museum funds which was very good. Many thanks to all those Volunteers who braved the snow showers to help in what was a very draughty spot.
Appeal for Members Newsletter Editor
At the last Members Sub-Committee Meeting it was felt that an Editor for the Newsletter was needed. If any Member would like to take up this request please telephone me at the Museum 0181 648 0127.
Wandle Industrial Museum Membership
Thanks to all those Members who responded so promptly by sending in their Annual Subscriptions for 1996-7. I enclose a renewal form for Members who have not yet renewed their Membership. Prompt payment would be very much appreciated.
Sheila Harris 8/1/1997
Since our provisional registration with the Museums and Galleries Commission in February 1995, we have been working towards full registration.
The recently received Report from our Curatorial Adviser states that we have made excellent progress, and that he is impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of everyone.
"The largely unpaid volunteers have demonstrated a high degree of professional conduct and a growing awareness of the high standards expected of Museum professionals."
This is particularly important in the light of the review of Museum policy "Treasures in Trust" published by the Department of National Heritage. Its purpose is to raise standards in Museums and Galleries, including among other things proposals for improvements in the care of collections and the quality of service to the public.
Museums are encouraged to become registered and this will be an important factor in considering public funding. Reading through the summary of recommendations it is clear that we have already put many of these into practise and it is very helpful to know that we are proceeding along the right lines.
Each year the Museum has to send in the Annual Information Return to the Museums and Galleries Commission, providing updated information as to the state of the Museum's collection. In December 1996, we were able to notify them that our current state of Documentation was going according to plan. The accessioning of the Museum's artefacts was now completed and we were now in the process of sorting and cataloguing the Museum's collections of photographs. We also notified them of our Grant from the South Eastern Museums Service towards the cost of the design consultants outline presentation for the new opening display at Ravensbury Mill. This Grant together with the matched funding from A & J Bull of Mitcham enabled us to pay the costs for this professional design.
All this information together with our very positive Curatorial Adviser's Report will stand us in good stead for the eventual full registration of the .
Marguerite Lee Delisle
At the request of the Members Sub-Committee, we are pleased to report on the Education Services that the Museum provides for schools, groups and individuals.
Schools. We send out leaflets and information to all Merton Schools twice a year and have found that our textile Workshops are the most popular particularly with First and Middle Schools especially if we can be of help with the National Curriculum in History or Geography.
A workshop lasts about two hours and is carefully planned so that the children are actively involved in various learning experiences and are never bored. It starts in the Meeting Room at the Vestry Hall, where a full class of 30-35 children can sit and watch a video showing the process of block printing as practised by Morris and Liberty when they were at Merton. Older children then see a set of slides showing the Morris and Liberty sites past and present. All children then experience handling of relevant objects such as original printing blocks and tools, Liberty silk scarves, silk moth, cocoons and thread, and Morris designed textiles. This part of the programme takes about 40 minutes.
We than move over to the Museum where we have the Printing Workshop and Tour of the Museum, here the class is divided into two groups and do both activities.
Printing Activity. The children participate in a printing exercise using original Liberty blocks and tools and have a choice from four different patterned blocks and three block printing colours. They bring their own material to print on and it should be dry enough to take away by the end of the session. They really enjoy this activity. Aprons and overalls are provided by the Museum and are a necessity! V:,y'..;'
While this printing is going on the other group have a short tour of the Museum exhibits and then attempt to fill in a worksheet. There is a choice of two worksheets and teachers choose one appropriate to the age and ability of the child. The tour starts with the three dimensional map of the River Wandle and includes a look at the model of Merton Priory, the collection of snuff and tobacco artefacts, the model of the Morris Merton Abbey workshops and the model of the Liberty Works at Merton Abbey Mills. Other exhibits which might be included would be Mitcham Lavender, Nelson at Merton, or the Surrey Iron Railway. The large table model of the Morris Workshops is usually a very popular exhibit The demonstration of the taking of "a pinch of snuff1 is also very intriguing to children - but we don't allow them to have a pinch themselves! Most children bring some money with them to spend in the Museum Shop where we have a selection of pens, pencils, postcards, cut outs and colouring cards from lOp to 40p.
Many schools send us letters, drawings and writing after their visits and we have reproduced some of these for your interest See also the front cover design. We actively encourage all teachers to visit the Museum to discuss their requirements with us so that the Workshop or visit can be adapted to the children's needs and abilities. We can also arrange to visit schools to do a printing workshop on school premises.
Adult Groups and Individuals Most adult groups request a guided tour of the '
Museum and its exhibits and this lasts up to an hour and can be arranged subject to availability of staff.
We get several requests from individuals for private study, requesting the use of materials from our archives. This facility has to be arranged through our Volunteer Archivist, Marguerite Lee-Delisle who will find the relevant files and usually be on hand to help with queries.
We also receive many requests for illustrated lectures and guided walks on the River Wandle to adult and community groups. We are happy to give this valuable service on behalf of the Museum.
The Museums and Galleries Commission urges every Museum to recognise Education as one of its core functions, and stresses that each Museum must have a Policy of "Education for All".
The Department of National Heritage in its recent publication "Treasures in Trust" urges Curators to make increased opportunities for the educational use of their Museums. In our own small way, we at the Wandle Industrial Museum are trying to do just that.
Peter and Sheila Harris
Its Wonderful Stuff
The Houses are Filled
With the Glorious Snuff
It was made in a Mill
And Crushed, Crushed,
For all the People to Sniff The Snuff
(10 years of age)
Wimbledon House School
Written after a Schools Visit to the Museum