The News

Pioneers Festival.  14 May 2022

We had a stall at the Powys Pioneers Heritage Festival held recently. Taking place at the iconic Pryce Jones Royal Welsh Warehouse in Newtown, and co-hosted by the Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales and Focus Newtown Hub, the festival celebrated the pioneers of Newtown’s past including Laura Ashley, Pryce Jones, David Davies and Robert Owen. We took along some artefacts from our own collection that help tell the history about the opening of the railways, as well as Pryce Jones and Laura Ashley. 

Poster promoting Pioneer Day
Railway opening flag
Demonstrations at the Museum

It is really exciting to be able to tell you that we are able to run 'woolly' demonstrations at the Museum again this year. These days have always been popular, but were not possible during covid restrictions.  The first demonstration will be on: 

Saturday21 May 2022

Victoria Haire will be working on the loom at the Museum and will delighted to talk about what she is doing.

Come along and enjoy watching this ancient craft in a historic setting. 

This year's special exhibition

Fifty years ago, Newtown was changing rapidly and two local photographers, Derek R. Parker of Llanidloes and Ron Haines of Newtown, set out to document the changes, as well as to record 'Old Newtown'. Our new exhibition looks at a selection of their work and compares the locations they captured with how they look today, with photographs taken by our curator, John. We are also hoping to run an oral project alongside the exhibition and we will be encouraging local visitors to share their memories of  a different time.

Want

to

help?

As part of the preparation for the 2022 season,  we held a volunteering open day on the 16th April. You probably know that the Newtown Textile Museum is an independent museum, managed and run entirely by volunteers. We are enthusiastic and dedicated but we need to grow our team so we need your help. If you missed it, but would like to be involved, we are still very interested in hearing from you, so do make contact.  If you have some time to give, maybe you could help in....

  • welcoming visitors to our reception and shop
  • engaging with our visitors - bringing local history to life
  • assisting with our schools and group visits
  • caring for our historic collection
  • providing DIY skills
  • looking after our building
  • documenting museum artefacts
  • organising events

The summer season for 2022 has started.  from 3 May to the end of the season on 30 September. Our opening hours will be 12.00 - 4.00 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes preparing a schedule of demonstrations in the loom floor with weavers and spinners coming along to show their skills. We are really excited about this new season of demonstrations. These will be advertised on our social media platforms and as widely as possible in other ways. As soon as we have a timetable we will obviously publish it here too.

Following the success of our small shop at the Museum in 2021, we will again be offering a range of items relating to the 'woolly' theme.  

We are looking forward to seeing you in the summer.  Don't forget that we can arrange small group tours, and we can provide speakers to come and talk about various aspects of the woollen industry in Newtown at any time of the year. 

If you would like to read our latest Progress report, you can find it here

Woolly things and more

for sale - new items for 2022

One of our volunteers has sourced some great things, woolly or sheep related, that we now sell from a small shop in the reception area.  We also have two very popular mugs - one of the Museum building, and the other is of the painting of the train arriving in Newtown in the 1870s. Great reminders of your visit. 

See us on TV, featuring in shows from 2021

Last year the Museum played host to a film crew from Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. It was a long day for the TV crew and for our Curator, John, and student Emily who were assisting, but the results are still available for you to see.  

The program went to air on BBC Two on Thursday 25 November 2021.  It is episode 10 of Series 10. Stand-up comedian Zoe Lyons was joined by radio DJ Noreen Khan in this popular show. If you missed it, you can catch up on iPlayer.  

The Great British Sewing Bee segment about the Museum which went to air in May generated a lot of interest among our visitors, and this new TV program was the same. 

Highlight from 2021

We like to be part of Welsh Museum's Festival week, and 2021 was no exception. On 29 and 30 October the Museum opened for a special two-day event, which was held in partnership with Oriel Davies. The focus was on  the traditional crafts of weaving and spinning  

The Museum had invited Francesca back to the Museum to work on our loom for the two days, and Jill came along to demonstrate and talk about spinning on the Friday.  We were delighted that a large number of visitors, including lots of children, came to see us over the two days, and many of  them left with very positive comments about their visit. 

The Oriel Davies had two exhibitions running - Blanket Coverage, and Steve Attwood Wright's work, showing aspects of weaving which ran in the gallery until the end of the year. They celebrated half-term with a weave-weekend where they had demonstrators, talks and some of the weavers were present. It was great to collaborate with the gallery and to keep the traditions of spinning and weaving alive. 

 We were very happy to host the placement of a Heritage Trail plaque on the wall of the Museum. The Newtown Council has established a Heritage Trail, and this plaque confirms our place in the Trail. You can discover the other sites and details on their website link:                      Newtown Heritage Trail 

Emily Connell, our student,  John Evans, our curator and Town councillor Tracy Owenwith the new plaque. 

 

We are so lucky

Emily, shown here working on a dress in our collection, was a great addition to the Museum for the summer of 2021, and she will be joining us again in 2022. A student at Nottingham Trent University she is studying Costume Making and Design, and she came to gain some experience of working in a Museum. Wonderful for us, and hopefully useful for her too.  

This  wedding dress  from 1881 that Emily is checking has a matching skirt and a cape, and as you can see, was made in Newtown. We know  that Henry Morgan had a drapery store in the High Street and it was worn by Ann Rogers, but there are always lots of questions in Museums and we would love to know more. It would be great if you could share any information with us.

The dress is not on display at the Museum at the moment as it needs some conservation work first, and we must find the funds to pay for it.  

We have discovered some things about Ann and Thomas, the bride and groom.

Read more about the Ann's wedding dress  

Check out these links. 

Another development.  We are now featured on Twinkl's Museum Campaign - an education website of teacher-created planning and assessment materials. Twinkl also have a wide variety of museum-related resources on their site.
Check out their blog 
Promoting Mid-Wales - it has a lot to offer

The Textile Museum is keen to work with other organisations in the Newtown area to encourage visitors to linger longer. We are already working with the Newtown Town Council; the Oriel Davies ; the Robert Owen Museum; and WH Smith who also have a museum in their wonderful old shop on High Street.  We are working closely with Walking Newtown  and Open Newtown too. 

There are plenty of other places of interest in nearby towns such as Welshpool and Montgomery as well. More recently we have set up links with the Mid-Wales Arts Centre near Caersws.  

We are encourage you to check out Visit Mid-Wales   Don't forget that the Visit Wales website has plenty of information too. 

Other websites to check out for valuable tourist information are:  About Britain, and UK Travel & Tourism,    County Sign Post , and also Welsh Border Life

Photography

In 2019 we had a visit from a local photographer - Polly Lovegrove.  She took some great photos and a few are displayed below.  Thanks Polly.  ©Polly Lovegrove