Co-ordinators: Beth Hall with Hilary Olleson
Heritage Volunteers at The Arts Society Nottingham
We have a very lively and enthusiastic Heritage Volunteers group , with over 40 volunteers involved with various projects, which help to preserve our arts heritage.
We had two excellent training days with our extremely well-qualified and knowledgeable trainer, Caroline Bendix, in October and November.
Caroline has recently been awarded The Plowden Medal from the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association. This an esteemed prize in the conservation and heritage world and was awarded in recognition of her career in conserving libraries.
Two recent articles on Caroline have appeared in the House and Homes section of the Financial Times Weekend (12th/13th Oct 2019) and a 4 page article in the November issue of Country Living.
She introduced our new volunteers to the basics of book conservation at Bromley House and reminded those of us who have been doing it for some time of the finer details that we sometimes overlook. There was nearly full attendance from the regular members and we had 10 potential volunteers. Of these, the five who opted for books are already placed in one of those four working groups and have started, or are about to start, working with us.
There is also a group of volunteers working at the Nottinghamshire Archive, cleaning and re-folding Diocesan records.
St Mary’s in the Lacemarket
There is a further group of 5 volunteers conserving and adapting vestments at St Mary’s in the Lacemarket. Before starting any project, the volunteers have to have appropriate training and in this case provided by Mary Sleigh, a professional textile artist who has an interest in conserving and making church vestments. One of the projects is the restoration of a red chasuble (outer liturgical gown or vestment) made of silk and wool which was very worn in places. The volunteers added an almost invisible conservation net to the upper section and added a bound opening to allow a microphone to be clipped to the front. This will add a few years of working life to the garment.
We have recently finished the Heritage Volunteer project in the church conserving the Chasuble and making a Super Frontal (a cloth which is placed over the top of an altar and hangs down a few inches over the frontal) more useful.
This is the Altar Super Frontal that we adapted by adding ‘Alleluias’ to three of the five panels using pale brocade, outlined in gold thread, and an arabesque outlined in the same god thread on the remaining two. It was used for the first time at the Christmas Eve service
The team hopes to use the expertise gained to take on other projects.
I am hoping to add other projects to these in the near future.
Beth Hall, The Arts Society Nottingham Heritage Volunteers Rep..