Tag Archives: Museum Events

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 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.

A new chapter begins at the Framework Knitters Museum

paul-baker-museum-manager-at-the-framework-knitters-museumAs Paul Baker, the manager of the Framework Knitters Museum, moves on to pastures new it seems the perfect time to take stock and consider the impressive journey the homage to Nottinghamshire’s past has taken over the last 5 years.

During a period that has been challenging for much of the heritage sector, this museum continues to go from strength to strength and has witnessed a remarkable increase in visitors. With Paul at the helm what was once a small village museum has transformed into an internationally renowned, multi-award winning visitor attraction.

Paul Baker said, “When I started the role in 2011 I could not have imagined the journey we have since taken. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and am immensely proud of what the museum has become.” 

Paul instantly saw huge potential in the historical site. Drawing on his extensive experience in redeveloping museums he set about re-imagining the visitor’s experience, and how it might be made more appealing to families and school groups.

After securing over £100,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museum Development East Midlands and Nottinghamshire County Council, Paul and his team started a year-long project to redevelop the site. Among their achievements was the creation of the first museum gallery dedicated to the Luddite uprising, and a unique new educational programme which has won international accolades. 

Paul continued, “I’ve been blessed with an incredible team of staff and volunteers who have embraced this period of change and growth and have provided me with outstanding counsel and support. The many accolades we have received and the growth in visitor numbers has been as a consequence of the dedication and hard work by my team.”

The museum’s subtle use of state-of-the-art sensory devices and technology has created a unique and dramatic experience which encourages visitors to explore their surroundings, to engage and participate in a fun way.  As a consequence visitor figures have increased by 59%, including a 300% increase in family visits.

It wasn’t long before the awards started flooding in; particularly for the new education programme which features an innovative interactive film. Over the course of a year the museum became the only British winner at the European Heritage in Motion Awards 2015, received the coveted Sanford Award, and won two accolades at the East Midlands Heritage Awards and another at the Nottinghamshire Awards ceremony.

The museum was also recognised by Visit England who made it the first museum in Nottinghamshire to receive the prestigious Best Told Story Accolade. Due to the European achievement Paul was also invited to be a laureate at the 2016 Best in Heritage IMAGINES Conference, a highly regarded international conference that showcases the best in the museum and heritage field from across the world.

Paul also used his earlier retail background to transform the museum shop into The Textile Emporium, specialising in unique contemporary textile products. The shop has become a destination in its own right and celebrates the creativity of local makers. This quirky approach has been popular with both visitors and the local community, and has seen revenue increase by 1170%.

Never one to rest on its laurels this year has seen a new partnership which has created another draw to the museum for visitors. Coupling up with the Nottingham Society of Artists, a new art gallery has been opened in the nineteenth century chapel featuring work from some of the finest artists in Nottinghamshire.

Although Paul is moving on there are exciting times ahead for the museum. We are currently in the midst of a huge fundraising drive to redevelop our existing site and expand into a recently-purchased adjoining cottage. Once complete, the project will double the existing exhibition space, create a new visitor route and offer new and improved facilities to visitors and other users.

Nottinghamshire artists on display at the Chapel Art Gallery

'Outskirts of the park' by Dawn Wilsher

‘Outskirts of the park’ by Dawn Wilsher

November brings more Nottinghamshire artists to the Chapel Art Gallery at the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington. Celebrated at this fourth exhibition will be Lynda Childs, Dawn Wilsher and Nigel Boughton-Smith.  The exhibition will open on Saturday 19 November 2016 and run until Wednesday 22 February 2017.

Paul Baker, museum manager at the Framework Knitters Museum, said, “We’re really excited for our visitors to see the fantastic artwork coming up in this next exhibition.”

'Playing the blues' by Lynda Child

‘Playing the blues’ by Lynda Child

The Chapel Art Gallery, which opened earlier this year, is a partnership between the Nottingham Society of Artists and the Framework Knitters Museum. It features work from some of the finest artists in Nottinghamshire, and a contribution from the sale of any art is split between the museum and the society.

Paul continued, “We’re proud to work with such a prestigious organisation as the Nottingham Society of Artists, and our visitors certainly seem to enjoy the added attraction the gallery provides.”


Nigel Boughton-Smith, one of the artists featured in the exhibition and the Nottingham Society of Artists’ coordinator for the Chapel Art Gallery, said, “We thought we’d do something special for Christmas so as well as the artwork, there will also be cards and miniature prints available that people will be able to buy as gifts.”

'Girl in puddle' by Nigel Boughton-Smith

‘Girl in puddle’ by Nigel Boughton-Smith

The Chapel Art Gallery will be open Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 4:30pm until 23 December 2016, and then Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 2:30pm from 1 February 2017. Please note that the museum and gallery are both closed from 24 December 2016 until 31 January 2017.

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 general public, at the above times to purchase refreshments and souvenirs as usual.

For more information on the NSA, please visit www.nottinghamartists.org.uk.

Twice the festive fun at the Framework Knitters Museum


Join us for our Christmas events on 3 and 10 December

The Framework Knitters Museum will be hosting two Christmas events this year – each with their own little twist. On Saturday 3 December visitors can create a unique take on a Christmas stocking using historic hand-knitting machines, and on Saturday 10 December the museum’s annual Victorian Christmas experience will take place.

Paul Baker, museum manager, said, “We absolutely love Christmas at the Framework Knitters Museum. For us it is all about family, fun and festivity. The museum provides the perfect place to provide an intimate festive atmosphere for events, but of course we have to do things a bit differently!”

The first event, on Saturday 3 December, is the perfect way to start your family Christmas celebrations. Using the hand-powered knitting machines children will be able to knit their own tube of material which, with the help of the museum volunteers, will be sewn at one end. The children will then be able to personalise their stocking with festive sparkle.

The opportunity to create one of the unusual stockings will be available in the Chapel between 12 pm and 6 pm, and will cost £5 per stocking. Normal admissions prices for the museum apply which, along with the tea room and shop, will be open from 11 am to 4 pm. Please note that the Chapel Art Gallery will be closed to the general public during this event.

The event is part of a larger programme of activities planned for the Ruddington Christmas Fayre, which will take place across the village from 12 pm to 5 pm and culminate with the Christmas lights being switched on at St Peter’s Church. 


Carol singers at the museum’s Victorian Christmas event

The following Saturday (10 December) is the museum’s annual Victorian Christmas event. Step back in time and enjoy the Victorian surroundings as they are brought to life with traditional music, food and activities. There will be roast chestnuts and crumpets toasted on an open fire to enjoy, while you listen to Christmas carols and music from a traditional barrel organ. Children can even visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a special Christmas gift. After dark the museum site will be lit by lantern light to add to the magical atmosphere.

This popular event will take place from 10 am to 5 pm and is free to attend. If you wish to visit Father Christmas  there is a charge of £6 per child and it must be booked in advance by calling 0115 984 6914.

During both events The Textile Emporium, the museum’s shop, will be open selling a wide variety of unusual gift items made by local makers so you can find the perfect Christmas gift with a difference.