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Swing Back to the 1940s

1940s flyerThe Framework Knitters Museum will be hosting a FREE wartime extravaganza on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May. Called ‘Swing Back to the 1940s’, the event will turn back the clock to the Second World War, with staff and volunteers decked out in best 1940s regalia. Visitors to the event are, of course, also encouraged to dress up!

The museum will even have hairdressers on hand to recreate authentic 1940s hairstyles, including the famous Victory Roll. Other themed activities include swing dancing with revival dance in the Chapel (tuition available for beginners), a traditional street party on Chapel Street, and stalls selling vintage collectibles.

Museum Manager& Curator, Nicola Wood, said: ‘We’re very excited about “Swing Back to the 1940s” as it’s the first event of its kind that the Framework Knitters Museum has hosted. I know from experience that people love wartime events, so I’m hoping lots of families come along to try their hands (and their feet!) at swing dancing and enjoy some delicious homemade cakes. Which I promise won’t be eggless or sugarless, despite the theme – and they won’t be rationed either!

In fact, visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to refreshments. Not only will the museum be selling tea, coffee and cakes from the Tea Room on the main site, but there will also be a selection of beers, wines and bottled soft drinks on sale in the Chapel. These will be provided by the museum’s corporate partner, Nottingham Brewery, who own and run The Frame Breakers pub on the corner of High Street and Kirk Lane in Ruddington.

Frame Breakers logoDrinks provided by the brewery will include their popular draught beer, Frame Breaker, served in 40s-style ‘dimpled’ pint and half pint pots. Originally created in celebration of the museum’s 45th anniversary last year and also available in The Frame Breakers, 20p from each pint sold is donated to the museum by Nottingham Brewery.

Swing Back to the 1940s will take place from 11am to 4pm on Monday 29 May. Entry to the museum will be free for adults and children alike, and the whole site will be open for visitors to enjoy. As well as wartime-themed activities, there will also be framework knitting demonstrations and the chance to knit your own scarf on a vintage Griswold knitting machine. The Textile Emporium will be open for visitors to explore and pick up souvenirs.

Adds Nicola: ‘It’s set to be a fantastic day out for all the family. There really is something for everyone – and plenty to do whatever the weather – so please come and join us for some wartime fun.

For more information about Swing Back to the 1940s, please call the museum on 0115 984 6914 or email office@frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk.

April events at the Museum

The Framework Knitters Museum looks like the place to be this April, with activities and events for all the family. The fun starts on Good Friday 14th April, when we’ll be hosting our popular annual Knitted Bunny Hunt from 11am to 4pm.

Knitted BunnyOnce again, the naughty knitted bunnies will be hiding themselves in various rooms around the site – and the museum needs eagle-eyed youngsters to help find their knitted pets. Any child who can help the framework knitters find all the bunnies will be rewarded with an Easter Egg.

A framework knitter said: “We do hope you can help us find our mischievous knitted bunnies, they do like to hide and we have no time in our busy day to find them all! We have Easter Eggs aplenty for all our young friends who help us find them. When you visit, we’ll be happy to show you our Victorian knitting machines – and you’ll even have the chance to knit yourself a souvenir.” 

EasterThe museum will also be toasting Hot Cross Buns on the cottage range, and the day will be filled with knitting demonstrations and fun activities for children, complete with the opportunity to knit themselves a souvenir. Admission to the Knitted Bunny Hunt costs £5 for adults and £2 for children. However, entry is FREE for any child bringing their own toy bunny or wearing an Easter bonnet.

From Easter Sunday 16th April, the museum will start opening on Sundays from 1pm to 4:30pm, on top of our current opening times of Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm. On Sunday 30th April, we’ll be taking part in BBC Radio Nottingham’s ‘Big Day Out’, with an earlier opening time of 11am. Entry to the museum will be FREE for everyone to enjoy their Big Day Out!

Self portrait by Nigel Corlett

Finally, the Spring Art Exhibition at the Chapel Gallery, which opened on 4th March, will be running throughout April and continuing until Saturday 27th May. Organised in partnership with the Nottingham Society of Artists, the exhibition features the work of three popular local artists. These are Doreen Hunt, Richard Simkins and 94 year old WWII veteran and inventor of the ‘Nottingham Chair’, Nigel Corlett (pictured, self-portrait). It’s free to visit the Chapel Gallery, which is open at the same times as the main museum site. 

Spring art exhibition now open at Chapel Gallery

Nigel Corlett

Nigel Corlett

The spring 2017 art exhibition has now opened in the Chapel Gallery at the Framework Knitters Museum. The exhibition – the museum’s fifth in total and fourth in partnership with the Nottingham Society of Artists – features work by three popular local artists: Doreen Hunt, Richard Simkins and 94 year old Nigel Corlett (scroll down for details).

Having opened on Saturday 4th March, the exhibition will run until Saturday 27th May – taking in the Easter school holidays and benefiting from Sunday opening days at the museum, which start on Easter Sunday.

Boca do Rio

Boca de Rio by Doreen Hunt

 The Chapel Gallery opened in spring 2016. Regular exhibitions are held in partnership with the Nottingham Society of Artists, and the gallery has also hosted an exhibition of artwork by local schoolchildren. These are enhanced by a varied events programme, such as the ‘Behind the Music’ show and tell evening held in the Chapel Gallery in November 2016.

Nicola Wood, the museum’s manager and curator, who took the helm in December 2016, comments. ‘2017 will be a really exciting year for the museum as a whole, with the Chapel Gallery no exception! We’re really looking forward to developing our relationship with the Nottingham Society of Artists, whilst rolling out an ambitious new events programme at the same time. Many of our activities will take place in the Chapel Gallery, which forms the perfect backdrop to cultural events such as talks, poetry recitals and musical evenings.’

Aber Falls by RichardSimkins

Aber Falls by RichardSimkins

Nigel Boughton-Smith from the Nottingham Society of Artists, added, ‘Nottinghamshire has some amazingly talented people and it’s extremely rewarding to get them in the public eye, in such a unique location. The three artists currently exhibiting in the Chapel Gallery represent a range of different styles from some of the county’s best-known artists.’

Visit the Chapel Gallery

The Chapel Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm and, from Easter Sunday, also on Sundays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Last admission is at 4pm. Entrance to the gallery is free, whilst normal admission fees apply to the museum. The museum shop and café are open to all visitors as well as the public, to purchase refreshments and souvenirs.

If you’d like to know more about the Chapel Gallery or are interested in holding an event in this unique space, please contact the museum. Please keep an eye on our Events page for details of upcoming events in the Chapel Gallery and wider museum site. For information on the NSA, please visit www.nottinghamartists.org.uk.

About the artists

  • Nigel Corlett

Nigel Corlett was bought up in the sea side town of Great Yarmouth where he was encouraged to draw and paint by his father and also his elder brother, who was a professional artist.  

Self portrait by Nigel Corlett

Self portrait by Nigel Corlett

In 1942 Nigel saw active service in World War II as a navigator in the Fleet Air Arm. After being ‘de-mobbed,’ Nigel attended courses in mechanical engineering in Loughborough and Nottingham.  

Once settled in Nottingham, he joined the Nottingham Society of Artists (NSA) in the 1960s, and served as a director for a few years. Nigel has been an active member of the NSA ever since. He was a regular attendee of various studio sessions and over the years, has exhibited his paintings at many of the NSA’s exhibitions. Nigel also co-authored a book, For The Very Joy of Art, with Marjorie Macmillan, which was published to commemorate 130 years of the NSA.

Nigel Corlett

Nigel Corlett

Nigel has used both water colours and oils, basing many of his paintings on holidays taken in the north of France with his family. Nigel eventually became Professor of Ergonomics at the University of Nottingham, where his work gained international recognition and led to the invention of ‘the Nottingham Chair’. Throughout his life, Nigel has continued to paint and exhibit his paintings.

You can contact Nigel at nigelcorlett@gmail.com and find out more about his work at www.humanics-es.com/corlett_paintings.htm. You can buy his book, For The Very Joy of Art, online here.

  • Doreen Hunt
Olhao Facades by Doreen Hunt

Olhao Facades by Doreen Hunt

Doreen’s work is concerned with structure. She paints mainly in acrylics, sometimes incorporating other mediums, and enjoys exploring different techniques in drawing.

Says Doreen: ‘I worked as an art teacher in comprehensive schools and, since my retirement, have established my own art classes for adults. I’ve always been interested in fashion and design, and particularly like creating theatrical costumes. For a number of years, I’ve been the wardrobe manager at The Lace Market Theatre in Nottingham.’

You can contact Doreen at doreen.hunt@ntlworld.com or on 0115 9749849. Find out more about her work by visiting https://artuk.org/discover/artists/hunt-doreen-b-1938.

  • Richard Simkins
Last Shift by Richard Simkins

Last Shift by Richard Simkins

Although Richard worked as a Civil Engineer and Contracts Manager, he has been painting on and off all his adult life.

Explaining his passion, Richard says: ‘My first love was oil paints but in recent years I have been seduced by the benefits afforded by fast drying acrylics. They allow me to work at a pace which lets me bring more of the excitement of the subject into the finished work. I like to work on a variety of subjects; the key is that the subject excites or challenges me.

Bargain Hunters by Richard Simkins

Bargain Hunters by Richard Simkins

The style I favour is not dissimilar to impressionism but I also like experimenting with other styles. I am a member of the Nottingham Society of Artists, The Arnold Art Society and the Soft Edges Art Group I also attended workshops with the late John Townsend, the International Nottinghamshire portrait painter. I have won a number of awards and have paintings displayed in the USA, Ireland, Portugal & Denmark as well as the UK.’

You can contact Richard at richard.simkins@talk21.com or on 0115 960 8734.

Shop at Asda in West Bridgford?


AsdaDo you shop locally at Asda, West Bridgford? If so, you can support the museum by simply shopping as usual – at no additional cost to yourself!

Asda is currently collecting Green Tokens for our Redevelopment & Expansion Appeal, as well as two other charitable causes. Any tokens you add to our box will be greatly appreciated!

You can support us by shopping online, too

You can also raise vital funds for the museum by signing up with Give as you Live. It’s a free online service that donates money to your chosen cause every time you shop online with over 4,000 leading retailers. Find out more here or sign up today.