Amanda and Kevin Daley have taken over the café franchise at Salisbury Museum and we can look forward to new opening times and new goodies!
The cakes looked up to standard when this blogger visited today. Why not drop by and give it a try?
Salisbury Museum welcomed Claire and Carl and Tally Ho drinks to the forecourt this bank holiday weekend. Serving a variety of welcome hot drinks to grateful customers relaxing on well padded deckchairs, the imaginatively and attractively converted horse box was an eye-catching addition to our facilities. They are a local Salisbury outfit who usually do weddings and other outdoor events but they said yesterday that they were particularly enjoying the sun in the lee of the Cathedral.
Katharine Searle-Barnes from Malmesbury School was with us recently, completing her work experience. She writes here about two items which were special to her…
If I were to pick my favourite item in Salisbury Museum it would be the harpsichord in the ceramics gallery. Although it is under restoration at present, this magnificent instrument is on display for all to admire.
The harpsichord is beautifully decorated with an illustration of an outdoor party. It is an enchanting image with a jolly orchestra serenading several guests, all dressed in their finery. A green landscape surrounds the gathering, and looking at the picture whilst the sun streams in through the French windows really makes for a magical visit.
The ivory keys have been well preserved, and are longing to be played again by tender hands. The wood that encases the keys is covered with another painted decorations to give it a proper finish, while the emerald green coat shimmers in the sun.
Another item I enjoyed looking at were the soles from the slippers worn by a little girl buried in a sarcophagus during Roman Britain. Seeing them just puts things into perspective; you realise people in the past have not just vanished into history, they were in fact just as real as you and I.
Some people may argue that historians shouldn’t display personal items once someone is dead without their permission. However under these circumstances I disagree because it gives an insight into what life was like for our ancestors as well as making it easier for people to imagine.
A visit to any museum is enhanced if we have a focus. Do you have a special item, or perhaps a particular gallery, we can highlight for others to enjoy? Let us know!
The British Film Institute collects, preserves, and restores film and TV material. There is a forty minute film of the celebrations in Salisbury, in 1927, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the founding of New Sarum is a stunning example of what they do.
The quality is outstanding and everything we see is, in some ways, so familiar, even though we are looking at something from nearly one hundred years ago. If you knew any of those people, you would recognise them! Watch out for Hob Nob and the Giant (in the rain!) in a rather good procession through the Market Square.
To get to the door of the museum our visitors walk through the front garden and frequently say how much they appreciate it. The Gardening Volunteer trio ( Brenda, Jane and Jenny) have plans to enhance and increase further the variety and colour in the flower beds. If you have any spare plants which you could contribute to the garden and which might fit our plan, please could you initially let us know by either leaving a message in Bridget Telfer’s tray in the Volunteer Locker Room or emailing Bridget at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It would be helpful if you could tell us what plants you could offer and how to contact you. We look forward to your help in adding yet more interest to the garden.
A statue of suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett (see previous weeks’ posts) will be unveiled today in Parliament Square, London. Hers is the first statue of a woman in that place, and it joins those of Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Gladstone, Disraeli and others.
March 19th in the Close and March 26th on Harnham Bridge
Meanwhile, back in the museum…
This year’s Big Clean is now almost complete. Nearly fifty Volunteers, and most of the staff, have been involved, in dusting everything from crossbows to medicine bottles, teapots to window sills.
Above, we have Mary Crane and Jennie Hoare in the surgery, and Jane Howells and Ruth Newman in the ceramics gallery. Thank you everyone.
… a comment received this week in response to Alan Clarke’s first article on the Stonehenge Woollen Industries, and echoed by many of us I’m sure. We like to have comments, and please keep them coming, though we cannot publish them all of course!
We have well over two hundred Volunteers ‘signed up’ at the museum, many are ‘regulars’ and have come from fascinating backgrounds and continue wonderful, sometimes surprising, work here. A number have now provided talks at Volunteer gatherings. Please consider sending in an item for the blog – local history, something interesting from your past, something about your work at the museum…
The blog has hundreds of views a week and needs you to keep it going!
Alan Clarke brings us more interesting photographs and a fascinating story of the connection between High Street, Salisbury and the Stonehenge Woollen Industry which we heard about last week.
A standing live ram held by a hoisting belt was the emblem adopted by the Duke of Burgundy when he founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430. He obtained great wealth from the wool trade in Flanders. This emblem, the golden fleece, was adopted as the traditional sign of a woollen draper’s shop. Hence the carved sheep above the former SPCK shop at 51 High Street, Salisbury.
Charles Scammell, an antique dealer, sold 51 High Street to Catherine Lovibond in about 1919. Catherine was the youngest of three daughters of Joseph Lovibond (1833-1918), a former Mayor of Salisbury (1878-1890), who lived at Lake House, up the Woodford valley. He was chairman of John Lovibond & Sons, Ltd, and of The Tintometer Ltd.
Catherine trained as a designer and took an interest in spinning and weaving. Encouraged by her father who had no sons, she started to teach the local women the processes involved, setting up looms and spinning wheels in Lake House. At first things did not go well but gradually the scheme caught on, so that by 1900 some of the products were being exhibited at the Albert Hall. A company called the Stonehenge Woollen Industries was formed and despite a fire which almost destroyed Lake House in 1912, expansion continued, moving to Stratford sub Castle after the death of her father in 1918. Retail outlets were established in four places including 51 High Street, Salisbury. This is when the carved sheep was placed over the High Street door to denote her trade.
Catherine married Major Radcliffe James Lindsay Bashford in 1919 but he died soon afterwards on 20 August 1921. Then in 1929 she became the third wife of Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn; Lord Hedley. In his youth he had been editor of the Salisbury Journal for two years. He died 22 June 1935.
After the death of Catherine (Lady Headley) the business carried on for some years and it was not until 1959 that the shop was sold to the SPCK who at the time occupied 56 High Street, Salisbury. The sheep trade sign was retained and remains to the present day.
A lady who lived close by me was 99 years old when she gave me an interview. She told me she used to work in the High Street shop as a young girl. She still had a Stonehenge Woollen Industries’ scarf. The shop used to supply patterns and wool for people to knit orders, often to be fulfilled in 2 or 3 days. Catherine used to travel to London by train to sell the items and to take orders. Another neighbour remembers her mother knitting frantically last thing at night to finish off a garment. Catherine originally set up the industry to provide employment for those in the countryside however its greatest use was to give employment to those returning from the First World War.