Monthly Archives: October 2017

Update – November 2017

I hope to see you at our meeting on November 1st.  Before we break for Christmas and the New Year I should like to remind you what lies up ahead and tell you what has been happening during October.

Volunteers – I am delighted to report that, since the last meeting, the Leamington Art Gallery Group of Heritage Volunteers was presented with a Gold Star Award by David Brass – the Area Representative for Heritage Volunteers.  This award is a new one given by the Arts Society West Midland Area to individuals and groups who have shown outstanding commitment in their work.  We are very proud that their service has been recognised.

Even better still, we have just heard that the Volunteer Group at the Herbert Art Gallery who have been meeting for over 7 years, week in week out, have also been awarded the Gold Star Award.    Please don’t think this is ‘normal’ or that the awards are two a penny!  I am enormously proud of what they have achieved and delighted that our Society has received recognition twice over in this way.  This appreciation of the group’s expertise at the Herbert Art Gallery extends much more widely than just among us at The Arts Society.  It is acknowledged by other heritage institutions, and enhances both the reputation of our Society and that of the gallery.

The Day of Special InterestFriday 17th November at 10.00am  – is taking place at a new venue, namely, The Warwickshire, Leek Wootton.  There is a waiting list only for this day, which will be exploring The Lives and Works of Two Contrasting Artistic Siblings – Augustus and Gwen John, with lecturer Mrs Sandra Pollard.

New Year Tea Party –  Those of you who would like to come to this event will need to know that it will be held on 23rd January 2018 at 3.00pm – 5.00pm at The Audley, Binswood Avenue.  Rosie Langman will be selling tickets at £10 at the November Meeting.  If you need to get in touch with her, her telephone number is 01926 833244

Playbox Theatre Christmas production – Wizard of Oz -.  Our Society supports this wonderful young people’s theatre.  We thoroughly recommend a visit to their Christmas Production.

Warwick Poppies –  The Arts Society Royal Leamington Spa is pleased to be supporting the Warwick Poppies project at St Mary’s which culminates on Armistice Day 2018 with a display of over a thousand hand-crafted poppies to commemorate the fallen.  Information about the project is to hand at the November lecture by our registration desk together with a instructions on how to make poppies yourselves as well as being available on their website.  If you are a knitter, crochet worker or enjoy handicrafts, do support the project by contributing your own commemorative handmade poppy.  The funds raised from the appeal will go to helping the young and the elderly in Warwick.

And now just a final reminder that we now have a two month break for Christmas and our next lecture will be on Wednesday 7th February 2018 – ‘250 Years of the Royal Academy’  by lecturer Rosalind Whyte.

Elizabeth Hunter
Chairman

Leamington Spa Museum

Leamington Spa Museum

The Arts Society volunteers

The Arts Society Heritage Volunteers have been working at the Museum since 2004, and, of the six original volunteers, two are still regular members. In recognition of their dedication and commitment, the Area Heritage Volunteer Representative, David Brass, awarded the Group a Gold Star Certificate, following on from their West Midlands Museum Volunteer Award, which they won last year. David presented the award to the Group in October, when the Chairman, Elizabeth Hunter, was also present.

Over the years the Group has carried out numerous tasks. These have included work on the textile, ethnographic and social history collections and more recently, mounting the samplers. They are now revisiting a task they first began in 2004, which is the checking and repacking of the costumes in the Textile Collection.

In order to carry out this work to appropriate conservation standards, training sessions are regularly held and, in November, a session has been organised on packing, handling, and condition checking, with a particular focus on textiles. These sessions are very helpful to all volunteers and improve their knowledge and keep their skills update

Projects completed this Year

Projects completed this Year

Mothers’ Union Banner – St Peter’s Church, Barford

Mothers' Union Banner, St Peter's Church Barford

Since January this year, two of our most experienced and talented needlewomen, Diana Adams and Annette Hughes, have been working on the repair and conservation of the Mothers’ Union banner for St. Peter’s Church, Barford. The work included replacing and reworking areas where the threads had rotted beyond repair.

After 79 hours of painstaking work, the banner was completed in July and a Service of Re-dedication was held at the Church in September. The Arts Society Volunteers and Heritage Co-ordinator were invited to join members of the Mothers’ Union and the congregation, when the banner was paraded for everyone to see. Diana and Annette were presented with bouquets containing flowers of blue and white, the colours of the Mothers’ Union.

It was a special occasion because the Mothers’ Union members were delighted to have their banner repaired. One of them mentioned that the last time they had paraded it, they had felt like the poor relation because of the state it was in, but now they could parade it proudly.

 

The Lord Leycester Hospital – William Morris Wall hangings

In March the Society was approached by the new Master of the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick, Heidi Meyer, for help in conserving six William Morris Wall hangings currently in the 13th Chapel. The Chapel was damp and the plaster was flaking off onto the hangings. The Master was anxious that they would disintegrate further if no action was taken.

A meeting was held with Victoria Allan, Textile Conservationist, who examined the hangings and recommended that they were surface cleaned and packed for conservation storage, with a view to re-examining them at a later date.

Three of our Volunteers, Janet Ainley, Ruth Barton and Anne Hayward set to work under the guidance of Victoria, and, over the course of three weeks, the hangings were cleaned and safely stored. It is hoped that it will be possible to display some, or all, of the hangings at a future date.

 

Update – October 2017

Since our Lecture on October 4th when Dr Tobias Capwell spoke on “Mars and the Muses: the Renaissance Art of Armour”, I write to tell you of news and events that you may be interested in and which are coming up:

New Members’ Coffee Morning – Friday October 6th at 10.30am at Charlecote Village Hall.  This event has unfortunately been cancelled owning to a lack of response.  We hope to reschedule the event in the Spring.

Day of Special Interest – Friday 17th November at The Warwickshire, Leek Wootton – Please note the new venue.  There is a waiting list only for this day, studying The Lives and Works of Two Contrasting Artistic Siblings – Augustus and Gwen John with lecturer Mrs Sandra Pollard.  It will no doubt be full of ‘colourful’ revelations about these two somewhat notorious artists. If you would like to attend, it’s still worth putting your name down on the list as there are often last minute cancellations.  Ring Kate Varney  on 01926 424453 if you would like to do so.

New Year Tea Party – Rosie Langman is kindly organising another tea party for members to meet one another over the winter when we are unable to hold a lecture.   It will be similar to the one she organised last year at the Audley, Binswood Avenue, Leamington Spa.  It will be in January and tickets at will be on sale at the November lecture meeting (November 1st).

Dorset Trip –  John Clark has just returned from leading a fantastically successful tour of Dorset.   30 or so lucky Arts Society members were staying in Poundbury and enjoyed a full programme over the three days they spent there.  Thank you, John, for taking on the organisation of this and many previous trips for us.  They are hugely enjoyed and appreciated.

Volunteers – Work has been completed by two of our Volunteers on the Mothers’ Union Banner for Barford Church.  The repaired banner was rededicated recently at St Peter’s, Barford.  There has also been some significant work done at The Lord Leicester Hospital where a small group of volunteers has been cleaning and packing the William Morris wall hangings for safe storage, and although it was only a short term project, it has been accomplished most professionally.  The group which has been working on repairing ecclesiastical garments and artefacts at All Saints Church have some of their work on display at the Leamington Art Gallery. It’s well worth a visit. Finally congratulations are due to the group who work at The Herbert Gallery in Coventry. They are celebrating their 7th anniversary this month and over the seven years at the museum they have completed 22 projects. The range has been very wide and interesting, from making petticoats to mounting stuffed birds, cataloguing collections and making sword covers. Their commitment has been steadfast and longterm and we appreciate not only the high standard of their work but also their presence in Coventry, which raises our profile there.  We thank all the volunteers for the work they do round an about.

Noticeboard – Do ensure you’re up to date with things that are happening in Young Arts, Trips and the Volunteering departments by looking at the Notice Board.  There are illustrated accounts of all these activities, very well displayed.

Membership Secretary – Jane Nash is retiring this year after ten years doing this important job. The very good successor we had found has had to pull out, so we ask you all to consider if you could take on this role on the Committee. If you’re a ‘people person’ it could be just right for you, so do come forward and get in touch if you feel you could help the Society in this way. It is a job that could be shared by a married couple so please consider joining me and my fantastic committee and getting more involved in the fun of running the Society.

Elizabeth Hunter
Chairman