I have been a member and committee member of The Redditch Art Circle, an art society based in Redditch Worcestershire UK for many years. In more recent years for various reasons the membership levels had declined and last year I worked really hard with the committee promoting the Society to the members of the public with a view to increase the membership, and to raise awareness of a rewarding hobby.
As part of our efforts, we managed to secure a slot on Heritage Day at the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch Worcestershire and put on a 1 day display of artwork and demonstrations. That’s us in the photo below, on the right in the bright red and green gazebo!
The Curator was so impressed with our efforts that we received an invitation for the Society to hold a full scale exhibition in the old mill from the first week of February for 6 weeks this year! We were absolutely thrilled!
We set to work, spreading the word with the members and to my absolute delight, attracted new artists to become members who wanted to participate in an exhibition at such a beautiful location.
The museum tells the fascinating and sometimes gruesome story of needle making in Victorian times, and the Mill is a listed building which houses original water powered machinery. Models and recreated scenes and an audio trail provide a vivid illustration of how needles were once made, and how Redditch came to dominate the world needle trade.
The middle floor is used as the temporary exhibition space where they held our exhibition.
We held a superb open afternoon with one of our very own founder members David Price giving our members an insight into how the society was formed over 43 years ago, and Jayne Pickering one of the Trustees of Rubicon Leisure and Jo-Ann Gloger the Curator of Forge Mill opened the event. We were and are very proud of the event and thank everyone at Forgemill for their support.
Now in May 2020 with the current COVID-19 crisis this event seems a lifetime ago. Forge Mill is currently closed for visitors, but I am sure will be back in full swing as soon as the lockdown allows. If you are in the UK and in the Worcestershire area, please pay them a visit …. you never know we may be back exhibiting when you pop in!
For details on Forge Mill Needle Museum go to https://www.forgemill.org.uk/web/