Last week, in the first of the ‘Lacy Days’ workshop, the care group’s members met Judith Edgar, curator of costume and textiles at Nottingham City Museums & Galleries. Thirty older people were given the opportunity to see some of the most treasured pieces in the City’s collection. These included a pair of 100 year old white lace gloves, a stunning evening bag from the 1930’s and a pair of 1960’s black lace stilettos.
Nottingham was a world leader in lace making during the 19th Century with more than 130 lace factories in operation. Its legacy is the impressive 19th industrial architecture of the Lace Market. The items on show stimulated a lot of conversation amongst participants with several members recalling their time working in the lace industry in Nottingham.
Retired Raleigh worker Albert Boseley, 95, attended the session. He recalled, “As a boy I used to fetch lace on my bike and take it to mother. I would go back later and the piece had been done.”
Jean Sadler, 94, said “My mother, Eva Bullough, was good at dress-making. The talk brought back a lot of memories – that dress was beautiful. I’m very proud of Nottingham’s lace.”
In the next five workshops older people will hear from lace-makers and create their own items of lace clothing. Their work will be exhibited at major local tourist attraction Newstead Abbey’s 2015 Summer exhibition, alongside Nottingham City Museums & Galleries’ prestigious collection of lace. The collection includes 2003 Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry’s ‘Coming Out Dress‘ (2000) and Lucy Brown’s ‘Petti-Fur-Coat‘ (1999).
This programme of work has been devised by Nottingham City Museum and Galleries heritage consultant Annabel Elliott.