News Desk

Visits to the Museum

A willing subject

A willing subject [54.5kb]

It's all very good humoured

It's all very good humoured [65.0kb]

We were pleased to welcome a group from The Association of Retired Persons (Croydon branch) who enjoyed a Textile Workshop with us in February. In March St Teresa's R.C. Primary School made a return visit to us for two workshops. We also played host once again to the Borough Magical History Tour, organised by Sarah Gould, Merton's Heritage Officer. Last year we were unable to accommodate them as we were closed due to flooding and re-organisation.

This year visitors were able to see the new displays, introduced by Meg Thomas, and printing demonstrations by Mary Hart and Auriel Glanville.

Almost all the visitors had a go at the block printing, and since publication of this newsletter their 'oeuvres' have been delivered to Sarah at the Heritage Centre for distribution as mementos of their visit.

Meg follows up her talk with individual visitors

Meg follows up her talk with individual visitors [57.7kb]

Connie, Michael and I were in attendance to answer any questions, and staff the shop. Over 24 people attended and were most impressed with our displays.

As always, a number of visitors were able to give a human dimension, by recalling their own visits to some of the sites pictured in our displays in the days when they were still working mills. We all gain by theese visits.


Ann is presented with flowers

Ann is presented with flowers [67.7kb]

The Volunteers' annual Theatre outing proved very popular this year when 17 volunteers enjoyed a trip to Wimbledon Theatre to see "Broadway", a musical selection of songs from well-known Broadway shows.

The Quarterly Volunteers' Lunch Meeting was well attended in April. A presentation was made to Volunteer Ann Daley who retired after seven years as Volunteer Book Keeper. She was presented with a card, a plant and an HMV voucher.

Simon Lace with Volunteers [67.7kb]

Simon Lace with Volunteers [67.7kb]

It was a particular pleasure to welcome our curatorial adviser, Simon Lace. It is sometime since he has been able to visit us, and he was able to see the new displays for the first time. We hope that both he and the volunteers benefited from the chance to have a relaxed chat over lunch.

We are sorry to report that Volunteer Eric Trim who has helped in the Museum/Shop and at Fetes and Fairs for many years has been ill in hospital for the last two months. Eric is now recovering at home and we hope he will return to the Museum in the near future. We wish him well and also must thank Connie Huxtable and Roger Steele for helping out in the Museum on Wednesday afternoons in his absence.

Members' events


The visit to Little Holland House in Carshalton was well attended and proved interesting and informative. Our thanks to Val Murphy, Museums and Historic Houses Officer from L.B.Sutton, for an excellent guided tour.See article by Nicholas Hart later in this newsletter.


All members are invited to the opening of our new Nelson Exhibition Menage a Trois in Merton on Saturday June 11th at 11-OO am. Invitations have gone out to all members and volunteers. The Exhibition will be opened by the new Mayor of Merton Cllr Judy Saunders and will be followed by refreshments. We hope to see as many of you as possible at this event which coincides with the Wandle Valley Festival on Sunday June 12th when the Museum will be open from 12.00-4.00 pm admission free, and Mary will be repeating her block printing demonstrations and displays at the Chapter House at Merton Abbey Mills all day.


A visit to The Red House is planned for Saturday 24th September at 2-45pm. The Red House, once the home of William Morris and now owned by the National Trust, is in Red House Lane, Bexleyheath. There is no parking allowed at the house and it is proposed we travel by mini-bus, otherwise it is a 10-15-minute walk from the nearest car park to the house. Entrance to the house is £6 - free to N.T. members. The cost of transport in the mini-bus is £8 and there are 12 places available. To book your place now please phone Mary Hart on 020-8542-7534, when you will be given full details of timings and costs.


Meg and Sheila at the May Fair

Meg and Sheila at the May Fair [74.7kb]

We are pleased to record that we took over £235 at the recent National Trust Fair in Morden Hall Park. This year our display was about Arthur Liberty and it attracted much interest. Luckily the weather was fine and warm this year which helped to make it an enjoyable event. Thanks to all volunteers who helped man the stall.

We will have a stall at the Wimbledon Village Fair on Saturday June 18th and help is once again needed at this popular event. Please ring the Museum if you can offer an hour or two of your time. All help is much appreciated.

More about the May Fayre 2005

Setting up this year was a bit of a problem. It had all been going so well. Sheila had booked the site early, and asked for the same size (we thought) as normal. Our new portable stand had proved its worth - Meg had been able to take it home to work on her Liberty display in her own time, rather than being rushed into doing it partly on site as in the past. Harriet had provided a perfect example of a Liberty dress, and Meg and Mary had made sure this was mounted on a tailorís dummy, (fig1 [76kb]) and looking good.

Then we arrived on the Friday night to set up. Instead of an oblong site with the long side facing out, it had been turned round, so the narrow side was outwards, with no compensating depth (fig2 [96kb]). We were not sure at that stage if the neighboring stall was going to use all its space, and our table across the front would have left no way for us to get in to our own stall. Meg Mary and I decided to set up in open plan (fig3 [69kb]). This looked well, and made the best use of space, allowed public access to the display, but made serving and security almost impossible.

By the time Sheila had arrived on Saturday the neighboring stall had set up, and had made space down the side of their area which meant we could have access to the rear of our stall if set up more traditionally.

She, Connie, Betty, Kathy and Michael set to and turned it round, to the layout which ran for the rest of the week end (fig4 [86kb]).



There are still some members who have not paid for 2004/5. A reminder slip is enclosed and prompt payment would be appreciated.

Sunday Openings

We urgently require offers of help for manning the Museum/Shop for first Sundays from June to December. Please telephone the Museum if you can offer your services.

Sheila Harris 17/5/2005

Back to last item
Go to news index
Go to next item