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 - 2010

November 2010: Mill puts out exhibition bait

Fly dresser Vaidean Russell tests the sharpness of a larger hook. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Fishing fans will be falling hook, line and sinker for Forge Mill's latest exhibition.

The Hook, Line and Sinker event which runs until November 30 takes a look at some of the famous Redditch fishing tackle companies, both large and small.

It features some of the museum's rarely seen fishing tackle treasures - from rods, reels, baits, lures and floats as well as archive photos, old documents and original hook making equipment.

Plus expert fly dresser Valdean Russell will be giving demonstrations at 2pm on Saturday, November 13 and Wednesday, November 24.

Redditch Standard, 12 November 2010

November 2010: Get hooked on new exhibition

Jo-Ann Gloger with one of the exhibits on show at Forge Mill Museum..

An exhibition featuring a hugely important part of Redditch's rich history is currently taking place at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

'Hook, Line and Sinker', which runs until November 30, is a look at some of the famous Redditch fishing tackle companies, both large and small.

The exhibition features some of the museum's rarely seen fishing tackle treasures, from rods, reels, baits, lures and floats, as well as archive photos, old documents and original hook making equipment.

A museum spokesman said: "Have you ever wondered how those beautiful fishing flies were tied? We have an expert fly dresser, Val Russell, who worked for Martinez and Bird, giving demonstrations in the exhibition at 2pm on November 3, 13 and 24.

"This is a great opportunity to find out about another industry that made Redditch world famous."

Redditch Advertiser, 3 November 2010

October 2010: Halloween capers at museum

Lynda Baker, from Redditch Amateur Theatre Society, will be guiding people through an eerie evening at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

There will be spooky goings-on at Forge Mill Needle Museum in the run-up to Halloween.

During half-term the Needle Mill Lane museum will be running pumpkin-carving workshops and a series of ghost walks.

On Wednesday between 10am and 1.30pm residents will get the chance to create their own spooky pumpkin face and then on Friday and Saturday visitors can join an eerie evening walk to discover haunting tales associated with the old mill and the Bordesley Abbey site.

Pumpkin-carving costs £4 and advanced booking is essential. The ghost walks start at 7pm on both nights. Tickets cost £4 in advance or £5 on the night. Participants should bring a torch and wear warm clothes and sensible shoes. To book contact the museum on 01527 62509.

Redditch Standard, 22 October 2010

August 2010: Catch Oscar Wilde classic at Forge Mill

Line up in Earnest - Cathy Stokes, Carla Griffiths, Simon Baker, Sally Turner and Sheila Proudfoot get ready for the Forge Mill production.

Oscar Wilde's classic comedy full of romantic confusions and misunderstandings will be played out in the beautiful surroundings of Forge Mill Museum.

The Avonmill Players' production of The Importance of Being Earnest is set in the atmospheric cloisters of the museum next Friday and Saturday (August 27 and 28).

Directed by Robert Wilkes, the play focuses on the double life of Jack, also known as Ernest, who is in love with his best friend Algernon Moncrieff's cousin Gwendolen Fairfax.

Watch what happens when Ernest is forced to reveal his true identity to Algernon, who also takes on a secret life.

Refreshments are available during the show, which starts at 7pm on the Friday and 7.30pm on the Saturday. To book tickets costing £6 or £4 for concessions, call 01527 831886 or 01527 62509.

Redditch Standard, 20 August 2010

August 2010: A mini adventure into town's history

Model behaviour - John Walford with his 1900 spoke making machine at Forge Mill Needle Museum. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Scores of residents enjoyed a mini adventure at Forge Mill Needle Museum on Saturday and Sunday (August 14 and 15).

Fifty unique miniature versions of horsedrawn vehicles and agricultural implements delighted visitors to the museum.

The free exhibition was put on by The Guild of Model Wheelwrights who promote and construct precision scale models of all types of horse drawn vehicles including agricultural machinery, carts and wagons, light and heavy commercial vehicles, passenger and road vehicles and gypsy caravans.

Redditch Standard, 20 August 2010

August 2010: Dig up the past at Forge Mill dinosaur day

Debbie Lakeman with the claws of an Allosaurus.

To celebrate its exciting current exhibition, Forge Mill Museum will be hosting a Dinosaur Day on Sunday, August 8 from 11am-4pm.

There will be performances of 'Bone Idol' by the Avonmill Players, which is a fast, fun, fact-filled guide to dinosaurs.

Visitors will be able to meet a palaeontologist and there will be lots of hands-on fun, including dinosaur craft, digging for fossils, balloon modelling and dinosaur face painting.

Youngsters can also enjoy the dino slide.

Redditch Advertiser, 4 August 2010

July 2010: You can call him Big Al

Keeper of collections Jo-Ann Gloger meets a new friend. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

Fans of the hit BBC television show Walking with Dinosaurs have the chance to get up close and personal with the star of the show, Big Al.

A new exhibition at Forge Mill Museum runs until September 5 and will chart the life of Al, who lived in the later Jurassic period, showing his environment and the many other creatures he hunted and lived with.

A magic blue screen will help transport visitors into the landscape of the dinosaurs and a life-size model head of Big Al will be on display with real fossils and casts.

Keeper of collections Jo-Ann Gloger said: "It's a truly amazing exhibition and we hope that many residents will come along to learn more."

There is a £2 charge for adults and £1 for children to visit the exhibition on Wednesdays when museum entry is free. Normal museum admission fees apply at other times. For more information call 01527 62509.

Redditch Standard, 30 July 2010

July 2010: Chance to walk with dinosaurs

Jo-Ann Gloger from Forge Mill with Big Al and friend.

The BBC's dinosaur, Big Al, is coming to visit Redditch as part of an exhibition of prehistoric monsters.

Residents are being invited to get up close and personal to a life size model of Big Al which was used in the close up scenes in the TV programme Walking With Dinosaurs.

There is the opportunity to see real fossils and casts and discover all about the dinosaur, which is from the late Jurassic period, his environment and the many other creatures he hunted and lived with.

There is also the chance, via a magic blue screen, to find out what it's like to be chased by a dinosaur.

Big Al will be at the Forge Mill Needle Museum as part of a unique dinosaur exhibition until September 5.

Redditch Advertiser, 28 July 2010

June 2010: Back in time for medieval merriment

Luke McNeill with Tony McHale from Company Ecorcheur enjoy the activities at Forge Mill. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

A fire breathing jester, a medieval camp and combat displays drew the crowds at Forge Mill Museum on Saturday and Sunday (June 5 and 6).

Over a thousand people turned out for the third annual Medieval Festival to experience how life was lived hundreds of years ago with re-enactment group Company Ecorcheur.

Visitors watched as the re-enactors held cooking and craft demonstrations and as well as the jester pulling in the crowds, medieval minstrels provided entertainment.

Debbie Lakeman, education officer at Forge Mill, said: "It was brilliant. We had just over 1,000 people and the weather was good again. The jester was very popular, especially his fire breathing and shows, and the re-enactors showing people how life was like in Medieval times.

"They said they had lots of interest and very good questions from people interested in what they were doing and felt it was a really successful day," she added.

The next event to be held at Forge Mill will be an Archaeology Day held on Sunday, July 18.

Redditch Standard, 11 June 2010

June 2010: Medieval merriment

Step back in time with members of medieval re-enactment group Company Ecorcheur.

There will be madness, mayhem and merriment when a Redditch museum celebrates all things medieval.

Forge Mill Needle Museum will be holding a Medieval Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6, from 11am-4pm.

Visitors will be able to take a step back in time as they wander among the medieval knights encampment set in the grounds of the museum with members of the Company Ecorcheur.

There will be cooking and craft demonstrations, a chance to experience life for the knights in the camp, enjoy traditional medieval music and dancing, witness the drill and arming of military men and be entertained by the medieval jester.

The cost is £2.50 for adults, £1 for children and £5 for a family ticket.

Redditch Advertiser, 2 June 2010

May 2010: Quality quilts go on display

Jo-Ann Gloger with 'Indras Pearls'.

An exhibition of stunning quilts is currently open to the public at Forge Mill Needle Museum.

This is a solo exhibition by award winning Janice Gunner, one of the countries leading lights of the quilt world and former president of the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles.

Janice also has her work in national and private collections here in the UK, and also France and America.

This exhibition is called 'In Continuum' and is inspired by the colours and textures in the natural world. The exhibition includes hand dyed shibori fabrics and vintage Chinese and Japanese textiles.

A museum spokesman said: "We were incredibly lucky to have Janice agree to do a special exhibition for us. The work is a real inspiration for all quilters."

The exhibition is on at the museum in Needle Mill Lane until July 4.

Redditch Advertiser, 26 May 2010

April 2010: Plenty of family fun down on the farm

Hugs - Debbie Lakeman, Forge Mill education officer, has a cuddle with a lamb. Picture by Lucy Ford.

All the fun of the farm was had by families at Forge Mill Needle Museum on Saturday (April 17).

There were about 2,000 people who flocked to the museum for the farm day to meet with farmyard animals.

Particularly popular were the pony rides and children also enjoyed trying their hand at bottle feeding the lambs.

There were calves, sheep and turkeys wandering around while goats could be visited in their pens.

Debbie Lakeman, Forge Mill education officer, said: "It was just wonderful. We had a lot of people come and visit us and everyone seemed to be having fun. It was nice weather and we had lots of families come down to enjoy the animals."

As well as the farmyard animals, families could enjoy a talk given by Tardebigge Cider and farmyard song and dance with Indigo Arts Youth Theatre Group.

Redditch Standard, 23 April 2010

April 2010: Animal fun at museum

Daniel with a Bagoit goat and Ivor Aspland from Farm2Ewe.

There was plenty of fun to be had when ducks, goats, sheep and ponies arrived at Forge Mill Museum at the weekend.

Following a successful farm day last year, the Redditch Council-run museum will once again invited a mobile farm to its grounds.

As well as meeting all the animals, there was also craft activities, a farmyard song and dance with Indigo Arts Youth Theatre Group and pony rides.

Local producers of Tardebigge Cider were also on site to talk about their produce with their vintage roadshow and Redditch Folk Group provided music and entertainment.

Redditch Advertiser, 21 April 2010

April 2010: Crafts go on show at Museum

Keeper of collections Jo-Ann Gloger admires a picture by Sarah Jones from the exhibition. Picture by Lucy Ford.

A contemporary crafts exhibition showcasing the many talents of the Worcestershire Guild of Designer Craftsmen is on display at Forge Mill Museum until April 25.

The high quality work on show at the Needle Mill Lane museum includes jewellery, furniture, textiles, ceramics, leather and more.

For more information, call the museum on 01527 62509.

Redditch Standard, 2 April 2010


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.