Members of our community groups enjoyed a day trip to Museum of Lancashire in Preston on Wednesday, which included a guided tour of the Conservation Studios later in the day.
The conservation studios are housed a beautiful Victorian church called St Mary’s, which at one time had one of the largest congregations. The modern building almost sits inside the church – the beautifully preserved stone walls and stained glass windows working as a shell around the studios.
We began the day in the Museum of Lancashire, where the group were free to independently explore the museum. There was a lot to explore, including exhibitions on archaeology, the war years and local history and stories. For the Treasure Trove project, the entertainment exhibition was particularly interesting. This exhibition covered Lancashire characters and entertainers including the marvellous Hylda Baker. There were some lovely seaside stories and photographs from along the coast – Morcambe, Lytham and of course, Blackpool. Members of the Blackpool Embroiderers’ Guild have found a comical Blackpool themed song they are particularly interested in using for their pop up museum, which was also a part of the exhibition.
In the afternoon, we went over to St Mary’s, where we got an introduction to the conservation studios. The group was split into two groups and taken on separate tours. During the tours, the groups received a short talk by conservators working on different areas, for example, paintings, paper, textile and sculpture. Each conservator talked to the group about items they were currently working on, which were on display for the group to see. Members of the Embroiderers’ Guild were fascinated by a piece of embroidery made by embroiderers of Middleton near Manchester. Individuals had embroidered landmarks and areas of Middleton, which had been sewn together on a great big canvas. This was a piece currently being conserved by the textile conservator.
Thank you to Museum of Lancashire and the Conservation Centre for a wonderful day. We hope those that attended found some further inspiration for their pop up museums.