Today, the Textile Tales Project led by Nottingham Trent University has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £70k for an exciting heritage project across the East Midlands. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project engages communities in the East Midlands – the historic heart of the UK’s textile industry.
With a group of four museums, two universities and businesses, Textile Tales will run a series of ‘road-shows’ to gather oral history interviews from former textile employees. The project wants to re-connect now dispersed groups of workers from the period 1980 – 2005 which saw turmoil as the industry rapidly contracted. We want to hear from everyone involved from dyers and machine operators, workers and management from the boardroom to the shop floor, who lived through this period as we are planning to save and share these stories for future generations.
The project is also looking for volunteers to be citizen historians. There will be ‘road-show’ events across the region at our partner museums at Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum, Mansfield Museum and Erewash Museum and with Nottingham City Museums at Lakeside Arts. Our first event is in Ruddington on June 28that the Framework Knitters Museum 11:00-16:00.
After that we will be out and about in textile communities in a mobile vehicle so look out for our Textile Tales roadshow van. We will be posting where the van goes and our dates on the textiletales.co.uk website. We would love you to come and share your stories with us.
Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and by the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, the project will share all the insights from the textile stories collected through the new project website textiletales.co.uk. Future generations will be able to learn much from their heritage, including skills that are becoming scarce in the parts of the industry that still exist. In the 1980s these workers protested to save the industry – now their stories deserve to be shared.
Commenting on the award, Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design at Nottingham Trent University said “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The Art School at NTU grew out of the national need for the local industry to have trained designers and was supported by the lace industry from 1843. The project builds on this connection for the present and the future.”
Commenting on the award Professor Tom Fisher said “The project helps us to connect more with the local community through our valued museum partners. We are looking forward to going out and about in our Textile Tales roadshow van and hearing people’s stories.”
Image Credit: Nottingham City Council