Forge Mill Needle Museum, Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre, Redditch, Worcestershire

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Forge Mill Needle Museum, Bordesley Abbey Visitor Centre
IN THE NEWS - 2009

December 2009: Christmas as it used to be


From Christmas present to Christmas past - education officer Debbie Lakeman is looking forward to welcoming visitors to a Victorian-themed Christmas Fair at Forge Mill Needle Museum on Sunday. Picture by Lucy Ford.

Visitors to Forge Mill Needle Museum will be able to step back in time at its Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday (December 6).

Victorian musicians and a magician will greet visitors and traditional carol singing will be led by Indigo Arts theatre group.

Debbie Lakeman, education officer at Forge Mill, said: "Our Christmas events will bring some traditional festive cheer to the season. The craft fair is always popular and the evening event will combine carol singing with fantastic fireworks!"

Families will be able to browse craft stalls selling unique gifts such as jewellery, woodwork, cushions, hats and decorations.

There will also be Christmas cakes and biscuits while children will be able to try out Christmas craft activities as well as visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

Councillor Peter Anderson, Redditch Borough Council's portfolio holder for leisure, said: "This is a good chance to get into the festive spirit. With all this warm weather, we need something spectacular to remind us that Christmas and New Year are now only days away."

The fair will run from 11am to 4pm. During the evening there will be carols, performance and fireworks from 5.30pm to 7pm.

Redditch Standard, 4 December 2009

December 2009: Victorian theme for festive fair


Jo-Anne Gloger at Forge Mill Museum.

Visitors to Forge Mill Needle Museum will be able to step back in time at its Christmas Craft Fair early next month.

This year's fair is on Sunday, December 6 from 11am to 4pm and this year there is a Victorian theme. Victorian musicians will greet visitors and traditional carol singing will be led by Indigo Arts theatre group. A Victorian magician will also be on the festive menu.

Visitors will be able to browse craft stalls selling unique Christmas gifts such as jewellery, woodwork, cushions, hats, decorations and more. There will also be Christmas cakes and biscuits sold by the Red Cake Company.

Children will be able to try out Christmas craft activities and visit Father Christmas in his grotto. Festive refreshments will be available and Needles Coffee Bar will be open for hot drinks.

There will be an evening event of carols, performance and fireworks on the same day. It will run from 5.30-7pm with entertainment provided by Indigo Arts, with the chance to join in the carol singing. The event will finish with a firework display from Shockwaves Pyrotechnics. Light refreshments will be available.

Debbie Lakeman, Forge Mill's education officer, said: "Our Christmas events will bring some traditional festive cheer to the season. The craft fair is always popular and the evening event will combine carol singing with fantastic fireworks."

Admission to the fair is free for children and £1 for adults, which includes entry into a raffle. Admission to the evening event costs £4 for adults and £1 for children.

Redditch Advertiser, 2 December 2009

October 2009: Fun with a pumpkin


Carving out some fun - Debbie Lakeman, education and events officer at Forge Mill Needle Museum, prepares for the Hallowe'en activities. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Youngsters can carve out some fun during Hallowe'en activities at Forge Mill Needle Museum during half-term.

Children can get into the spirit of the spooky season by trying their hand at pumpkin-carving workshops on Monday and Wednesday (October 26 and 28). Pumpkin carving will take place from 1.30pm on Monday and 11am as well as 1.30pm on Wednesday.

Debbie Lakeman, education officer at Forge Mill, said: "Our pumpkin-carving workshops are always popular so this year we have provided more opportunities for families to get involved. We are looking forward to seeing what spooky designs the children will come up with!"

Play rangers from Redditch Borough Council will also be at Forge Mill on Wednesday for free activities from 11am to 1pm.

Redditch Standard, 23 October 2009

October 2009: Take a tour of town's heritage


Forge Mill volunteer Derek Coombes listens to one of the tales of old. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Guided tours of Forge Mill Needle Museum are running throughout October and November to give residents the chance to learn more about the processes of needle-making.

The tours take place every Friday at 11.30am and 2pm, and demonstrate why there are so many old needle mill buildings still within the town.

Debbie Lakeman, education officer at the museum, said: "We are pleased to be able to offer residents the chance to go on a tour of one of the town's historical buildings. We hope lots of people will take up the opportunity to discover more about the needle industry in the town."

Coun Peter Anderson stressed the importance of residents realising the history on their doorsteps. "I think that you will be fascinated if you come and look back into our history," he added. Those interested in the Friday sessions can just turn up. No booking is necessary.

Redditch Standard, 23 October 2009

September 2009: Popular exhibition to leave museum


Soon to set sail - keeper of collections Jo-Ann Gloger warns visitors that time is ticking out for them to see the Titanic exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Residents have only a couple of days to say bon voyage to an award-winning exhibition.

Hundreds of visitors have already seen the popular Titanic exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum. And a weekend of special events is planned before the exhibits set sail for good.

Titanic Tales will be performed by the Avonmill Players today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) from 7pm. The play looks at the personal stories of those involved in the tragedy with tickets costing £5 on the door.

And Titanic experts will be at the museum on Saturday and Sunday with talks taking place at 2.30pm on both days.

Redditch Standard, 4 September 2009

August 2009: No need to be bored this Bank Holiday


Carolyn, Anthony, Emily, Brett and Molly prepare to abandon a sinking ship at Forge Mill Museum. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Scenes from the fateful voyage of doomed ship Titanic will be re-enacted at Forge Mill Needle Museum this Bank Holiday weekend.

Visitors can drop in at 11.30am, 1pm or 2.30pm to experience the last moments of the passengers and crew, brought to life through descriptions and enactments, as the ship slowly sinks into the murky Atlantic.

Coun Peter Anderson, Redditch Borough Council's portfolio holder for leisure, said: "I am sure this will be an unforgettable experience that will be well worth the visit."

Redditch Standard, 28 August 2009

August 2009: Taking a step back in time


Horse play - Exhibitor Brian Young looks at his expanding horse hay rake which was part of the exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

More than 100 residents visited an exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum during the weekend.

Fifty miniature versions of horse-drawn vehicles and agricultural implements delighted visitors when they went on display on Saturday and Sunday (August 8 and 9).

The free exhibition was put on by The Guild of Model Wheelwrights held in the cloisters.

The curator at Forge Mill Needle Museum said: "The weekend went really well and the visitors enjoyed seeing the small models in the cloisters area."

Redditch Standard, 14 August 2009

August 2009: Get on board for Titanic exhibition


Boat-iful exhibition - 'Leo' played by Oliver Mandel plays cards with first officer Murdoch, played from Nick Marshall, and passenger Gerald Palmer, played by Richard Knox. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

A Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike welcomed visitors aboard the opening of an award-winning exhibition.

Scores of people attended the Titanic Day at Forge Hill Needle Museum to launch Titanic Honour and Glory which features rare artifices from the infamous ship which sunk in 1912.

Oliver Mandel attended as actor DiCaprio who starred in the Hollywood movie about the doomed vessel. People also met actors playing Edwardian passengers, listened to a string quartet and enjoyed children's craft activities.

Jo-Ann Gloger, keeper of collections at Forge Mill, said: "Despite the weather, we had quite a large number of people come and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. "It was a chance for people to talk to Titanic experts which many found absolutely fascinating."

The exhibition runs until September 6.

Redditch Standard, 14 August 2009

August 2009: Forge Mill's Titanic exhibition


Lewis with a model of the Titanic.

Redditch residents are being taken on a dramatic trip back in time at the Titanic Honour and Glory exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The award-winning exhibition will be on at the Redditch Council-run museum in Needle Mill Lane, Riverside until September 6.

Visitors will be able to see rare artefacts from the Titanic and her sister ships the Britannic and Olympic, including chinaware, silver, wooden panelling and personal memorabilia.

They will also be able to listen to first-hand accounts from Titanic survivors, which are on loan from Southampton Museum. There will also be props and costumes from James Cameron's film Titanic on display.

On Saturday, August 1 the museum held a special Titanic Day from 11am-4pm. Attractions included a string quartet, gallery tours by a Titanic historian, a chance to win a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace, craft activities for children and Forge Mill's very own 'Leonardo DiCaprio'.

Redditch Advertiser, 5 August 2009

July 2009: Titanic exhibition will spotlight honour and glory


Tip of the iceberg - exhibition manager Margot Corson with a model of the Titanic at the exhibition. Picture by Dan James.

Residents can take a dramatic trip back in time from this week as the Titanic Honour and Glory exhibition comes to Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The award-winning exhibition opened at the Redditch Borough Council-run museum in Needle Mill Lane, Riverside, yesterday (Thursday).

Visitors will be able to see rare artefacts from the Titanic and her sister ships the Britannic and Olympic including chinaware, silver, wooden panelling and personal memorabilia.

They will also be able to listen to first-hand accounts from Titanic survivors, which are on loan from Southampton Museum and there will also be props and costumes from James Cameron's film Titanic on display.

On Saturday, August 1, the museum will be hosting a special Titanic Day from 11am-4pm. Attractions will include a string quartet, gallery tours by a Titanic historian, a chance to win a replica of the Heart of the Ocean Necklace, craft activities for children and Forge Mill's very own 'Leonardo DiCaprio'.

Coun Peter Anderson, council portfolio holder for leisure, said: "This is something very different, and I hope a lot of young people will find this kind of history exciting. I also hope they will use this opportunity to visit the museum as well, and remember just what life in Redditch was like a hundred years ago."

The exhibition runs until Sunday, September 6. Museum entry fees apply. Entry for children is free.

Redditch Standard, 24 July 2009

June 2009: Stages set for Bard's comedy


Lindsay Mason and Leigh McCarroll prepare to perform Much Ado About Nothing.

Outdoor Shakespeare specialists MDCC Theatre Company will be in Redditch and Bromsgrove this summer with the bard's sparkling comedy Much Ado about Nothing.

The play is forever famous for its love affair between Beatrice and Benedick, in contrast to the courtly wooing by Claudio and Hero, who also have to contend with a plot devised by the scheming Don John to shatter their happiness.

The show opens at the Forge Mill Needle Museum in Redditch between June 27-28 and moves on to Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove between July 4-5. Tickets cost £5 in advance and £7 on the door, and are available on 62509 or 07967 145035.

Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 6.30pm.

The audience are requested to bring their own seating as the production is open air and visitors should feel free to bring a picnic.

Redditch Advertiser, 24 June 2009

June 2009: Abbey set for investigation


An all-night investigation is set to take place at Bordesely Abbey.

Redditch Ghost Walks and Paranormal (RGW&P) will be holding an all night investigation at Bordesley Abbey on July 25 along with guest speaker and local author Anne Bradford who will be giving a talk on ghosts in and around the area.

The night, which will help raise funds towards the renovation of the abbey, will start off with Anne followed by a talk about the abbey's history, this will then be followed by an all night paranormal investigation held by RGW&P.

RGW&P has carried out investigations at many local venues, including the abbey, over the last few months.

Members have witnessed and captured on camera light anomalies and orbs, have held energy circles and communicated with various spirits in and around the abbey, witnessed mists and moving shadows so are really looking forward to hosting the all night investigation.

Karl Newman, the founder of the group, said its members would love to work with the abbey fund on future events and thanked staff for all their help.

"This venue is great for people like us," said Karl. "There is so much activity in and around the abbey, every time I visit this place I seem to capture lovely light anomalies or orbs with my camera."

RGW&P is a team of eight people which holds investigations in and around the area approximately every two weeks so anyone looking for a spooky night investigating ghostly goings on is welcome to come and join the team.

Photos from previous visits can be seen on RGW&P's website which can be found at www.redditchghostwalks.co.uk along with other forthcoming events, news and video footage.

Redditch Advertiser, 17 June 2009

May 2009: Life as a medieval knight


Members of Swordplay get ready to teach Redditch youngsters how to be knights.

Youngsters can experience life as a medieval knight over the half term break by learning the art of sword fighting.

Forge Mill Museum is playing host to a medieval festival next week and is giving children aged eight to 16 to take part in Swordplay workshops led by professionals throughout Wednesday (May 27).

Debbie Lakeman, education officer at Forge Mill said: "We are really excited about the Swordplay workshops as it is something we have not done before and will provide something a bit different for children to have a go at over the holidays."

On Tuesday (May 26) the museum is also offering families the opportunity to create stained glass windows between 1.30pm and 3pm, as well as pottery workshops from 10am until 11.30am, which will be repeated at the Palace Theatre on Thursday (May 28) at the same times.

To book a place on the sword fighting workshops, which cost £4, call the museum on 01527 62509, and for the pottery workshops, which also cost £4 and stained glass making, call the theatre on 01527 65203.

Redditch Standard, 22 May 2009

May 2009: Celebrations for 500th anniversary


Danielle Sheasby and David Feilden with birds Jessica and Phoebe.

The 500th anniversary of Henry VIII being crowned king of England is being celebrated with a Tudor weekend at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The Redditch Council run museum's celebrations take place on Saturday, May 16 and the following Sunday from 11am-4pm, and visitors will be able to experience Tudor life and meet characters who may have lived on the outskirts of Bordesley Abbey hundreds of years ago.

Redditch councillor Peter Anderson, portfolio holder for leisure, said: "It's ironic that we should celebrate the coronation of the king who did most to destroy the abbey. But there are many other aspects of his reign that we should celebrate, not least the fact that proceeds he took from the church were used to create the Royal Navy, upon which his successors depended very heavily."

A highlight of the proceedings will be a falconry display by Arden Falconry, to showcase this popular Tudor pastime.

There will also be demonstrations of cooking, wool dying, leather tanning and arrow fletching plus tours of Bordesley Abbey by resident monk, Brother William.

Children can have a go at Tudor-themed crafts and refreshments will be served by Needles Coffee bar.

Entry per day costs £2.50 for adults, £1 for children and £5 for families.

Redditch Advertiser, 13 May 2009

May 2009: Museum to bring history back to life


Phoebe the Harris Hawk with David Fielden, and Jessica a Bengalese Eagle Owl with Danielle Shearsby, all from Arden Falconry, get into Tudor times. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

History lovers can take steps back in time over the next two weekends as the past is brought to life with a series of events at Forge Mill Museum.

Staff will celebrate National Mill Day on Sunday (May 10) with the help of Redditch Amateur Theatre Society, who will be recreating life as it was for Victorian needle makers.

As well as a guided tour of the mill there will also be craft activities for youngsters and the chance to see the waterwheel in operation. It runs from 11am until 4pm and costs £2 for adults and free for children.

The following weekend (May 16 and 17) it will be the turn of the Tudors as staff celebrate the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII becoming king.

Both days run from 11am until 4pm and entrance is £2.50 for adults and £1 for children.

Redditch Standard, 8 May 2009

March 2009: Puppet exhibition at Forge Mill


Dr Malcolm Knight - puppeteer and founder of the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre brings his exhibition to life. Picture by Lucy Ford.

Puppets and masks from across the world will be showing their faces during an exhibition at Forge Mill over the next two months.

The colourful and fun-filled showcase, entitled the Magic of Masks and Puppets, kicks off at the museum tomorrow (Saturday) courtesy of the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre.

It will feature puppets from Java, Indonesia, Greece and Turkey as well as giant Russian doll puppets, Chinese marionettes, hand puppets for exorcisms and a Burmese Prince and Princess dating back to the 1830s.

There will also be a chance for visitors to catch of glimpse of the animatronic puppets Baby Dawn - featured in the film Trainspotting - and Morag the Highland Cow from the children's television series Fully Booked.

The exhibition will run until April 26 and entrance costs £3.90 for adults, £2.95 for senior citizens and £1 for children or a family ticket is £7.50. There are also concessions for Reddicard holders.

Redditch Standard, 6 March 2009

January 2009: Winners' work goes on display


Textile winners Janice Myers, Vikki Lafford, Rachel Doyle and Tracy Curtis with Janice's piece entitled Hat Trick. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Prizes were awarded in a national competition last week ahead of an exciting new exhibition set to take place at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

The Textile Directory, a central forum for artists, designers and textile enthusiasts to share their ideas, announced that Janice Myers from Cornwall was the overall winner of their Spellbinding Textile Competition. Her Hat Trick piece features a giant top hat and a flight of doves.

Coming a very close second place was Vikki Lafford with her Enchanted Woodland dress, which features many hand-painted, embroidered and beaded silk butterflies and flowers.

The competition, for which prizes were given out at the Riverside venue last Friday, was conceived by The Textile Directory to promote textile artists and their craftwork across the UK.

The pieces will now form part of an exhibition at Forge Mill, which takes place from February 4 to March 1. The Spellbinding Textile Exhibition represents an array of artwork across the whole textiles spectrum - from patchwork, quilting, feltmaking and stitching to fashion and beadwork.

Sara Drinkwater, editor of The Textile Directory, said: "Everyone here has really enjoyed seeing the entries come in and the wonderful work the artists have been inspired to create. We think they have made a fabulous exhibition."

In third place was Rachel Doyle for Magic Box, while in fourth was Merlin's Magic by Tracy Curtis.

Redditch Standard, 23 January 2009

MORE INFO

Forge Mill and Bordesley Abbey are frequently featured in newspaper and magazine articles, both locally and nationally.

With the permission of the publishers, we hope to include interesting articles and photographs on this page, which will grow as time goes by.