MENU THE ARTS SOCIETY WREKIN

Heritage Volunteers are teams of committed non-specialist volunteers who work under the guidance of curators and other professionals to help conserve our heritage. Heritage Volunteers undertake projects for:

  • museums
  • National Trust properties
  • historic houses
  • libraries and gardens

They give their time to care for collections, record documents and act as guides and stewards.

Projects may include:

  • On-site conservation of books, manuscripts, archives and maps
  • Cataloguing documents and archival listing
  • Conservation of arms and armour, medals and military silver
  • Preventative conservation of textiles, replica work and creation of period costumes
  • Guiding and stewarding in museums, historic houses and gardens.

We work with TAS Shrewsbury, about two thirds Wrekin one third Shrewsbury. We are very fortunate to have so many enthusiastic volunteer members who work well together.

 The team, led by Paul Joseland, who organises the rota for volunteers, has previously worked at the IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM on the John Scott Collection and the Elton Collection, as described by Paul: 

The John Scott Collection

In August 2013 the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT) acquired the John Scott Collection from the collector; John Scott. The Collection comprises around 1,300 objects. In the main, these objects are single ceramic tiles or panels of multiples of 4 or 8. However, included within the collection are around 30 larger tile panels some of which comprise around 48 tiles. The tiles date from c1830 – c1930 and represent perhaps the finest collection of ceramic tiles from this period in the UK. The collection is now housed in a new dedicated gallery at Jackfield Tile Museum. Before these objects could be put on display they had to be condition checked, recorded, photographed and have a light clean where necessary. Following on from this initial work, contextual historical research relating to the tiles, the designers and the buildings in which they were previously installed has been undertaken. Groups from the Wrekin, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton societies were delighted to be asked to help with this work.

THE ELTON COLLECTION

The volunteers have also worked for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust assisting in the cataloguing of one of the Museum’s most important collections, the Elton Collection. Sir Arthur Elton bart was a contemporary of John Betjeman at Marlborough and they shared a passion for trains. His career was in the film industry for the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit later taken over by the Post Office. Most of his films were based on the lives of ordinary working people. He produced propaganda films during the war and after was production head for Shell films. He gave his house at Clevedon to the National Trust in 1960. He died in 1973 and his collection was taken by HM Treasury in lieu of death duties. In 1978 the collection was deposited with IMGT. The Collection consists of over 4,000 books on transport and the industrial revolution as well as drawings and paintings, film making papers and ephemera. It is the IGMT’s largest collection.

The team have recently been involved in work on 19th century Craven Dunnill tile moulds, as described by Paul:

We have been working on 19th century Craven Dunnill tile moulds. They are the negative impression on which each tile is formed. Coloured slips (liquid clays) are added to the grooves in the tiles before firing. After use at their Jackfield factory they had been discarded and were recently discovered when they were uncovered during some ground works. Many of them are broken and all were dirty but we have cleaned, described, measured, photographed, individually wrapped and recorded on computer nearly 1500 moulds. The work was mainly finished in May since when a small team has been reviewing the computer record and where necessary adding keywords to assist future researchers. Our last session was on Wednesday 8th August.

The Museum has informed Paul that they are working on a new project for our volunteers to start on this autumn but details are not yet available.

The Arts Society is planning a large embroidery of 16 panels to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.  I am delighted to say that a member, Elizabeth Mason a most gifted “stitcher”, is undertaking one of these panels on the theme of Parks and Gardens.  She will design the panel and then embroider it following the overall colour scheme between now and the end of the year – quite a challenge!              

Tong Church Pulpit Fall

The Society is supporting St Bartholomew’s Church Tong in the cleaning and display of an Elizabethan embroidery which was given to the church in 1635 and was used as a pulpit fall.  It is at present with the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace where it has been cleaned and is now being stitched and couched to a backing cloth which will then be secured to a rigid conservation board.  After this it will be framed and displayed in the church.    I will keep the Society informed of progress and there will be an opportunity to learn more about the conservation process.

 

 Anyone interested in helping with Heritage Volunteering projects should contact Paul Joseland at

 phj@blueyonder.co.uk