Many of you will know that the town museum has been closed for some time and will not open until next Summer, 2020. Some time last year I was contacted by a researcher, on behalf of the Curator of History, about lacemaking in the area. Anne Newton and I subsequently met with Louise Hannam-Jones, the Curator, and she allowed us to have a brief look in the stores in St. Giles Street. Louise came to one of our meetings in the Summer of 2018 and talked to members. Several were later interviewed by her for an oral history interpretation.
Louise invited Anne and I back and we have now spent two sessions going through the boxes of lace and other artefacts to identify pieces to be put on display when everything re-opens. I had previously worked with Pat Rowley on the lace exhibition at the museum "Art, Trade and Mystery" in the year 2000 and I had a good idea of which pieces were good enough but not all of them have been easy to locate. However, we had all forgotten about the baby bonnet with "God Bless the Babe" worked into it. The Bucks lace is not particularly remarkable, but incorporating the letters makes it something special.
We have had one more session with Louise at the end of March 2019. It has been an enormous pleasure working with her, being allowed to see what they have and to share our expertise with her. It will be great to see a display of lacemaking in the town. I know we cannot compete with the shoemaking but nevertheless, lace is an important part of our heritage.