Framework knitters of the world unite…

Knit your socks off with a Komet Knitter

Knit your socks off with a Komet Knitter

Machinery silhouetted within the museum

Machinery silhouetted within the museum

This is what we had in Bonsall

This is what we had in Bonsall

Photo for cover of Bonsall History Project LP

Photo for cover of Bonsall History Project LP

This machine makes socks!

This machine makes socks!

Subliminal message

Subliminal message

You have nothing to lose but your 13 hour day and your Komet Knitters (see pic).

The Bonsall History Project set out on another freezing (but sunny) morning having set the controls (and our trusty coach driver Peter Fox) for the heart of Ruddington near Nottingham. Quite a few of our number had already been to the Ruddington Frameknitting Museum – but such is the lure of the characterful buildings, old framework knitting machines and charming museum staff – they couldn’t wait to return.

Parts of Bonsall once rattled to the sound of 143 knitting machines as scarves, smoking caps, ties, shirts, stockings and underwear were produced. But then Arkwright  started the Industrial Revolution and they ended up in factories in Cromford!

It’s a really interesting visit to Ruddington and the combination of a welcoming brew on arrival, a booked guided tour and a demonstration of framework knitting (it’s complicated!) meant that we all came away buzzing in a historical kind of way.

One of the guides mentioned that Ned Ludd (of Luddite fame) was a myth. What next – Santa doesn’t exist?! We’re not sure about Ned – what do you know? Is he a made-up smasher of machinery?

Thanks to the Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum.

Great welcome, excellent tour and demonstration by Andy Bone (see video here) www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk.

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Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge Monday nights BBC2 9pm

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

The Black Country Living Museum steps into the spotlight in Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge (BBC2, 9pm).  During January 2012 the Museum was transformed into a film set as Hollywood stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, John Goodman and Jacqueline Bisset joined British TV legends Mel Smith, Anthony Head, Caroline Quentin and Jane Asher in Dudley to film scenes in the Museum’s 1930s bedroom, the Darby Hand chapel and the 1900s village.

Monday 4 & Tuesday 5 February, 9pm, BBC2 and every Monday thereafter

Visit to the Black Country Museum : A trip down memory lane….

Karen and Slack's Coach driver welcome us on board

Karen and Slack’s Coach driver welcome us on board

As part of the Bonsall History Trails Project a busload of Bonsallites got the Slack’s charabang to The Black Country Museum of Living last Saturday. It was a cold but fascinating experience. Some went down the mine, some straight to the charming ‘sawdust on the floor boozer’, and some flitted from coal fire to coal fire. It seemed that every little corner of the many brick built houses had a lovely range or fire to warm yourself by.

Fish and Chips fried in beef dripping..ummmm

Fish and Chips fried in beef dripping..ummmm in the 80 year old fryer

And you got the chat – Dudley style. It was great to meet the various characters who inhabit the 26 acre site and listen to their descriptions of how tough life was between the 30’s and 50’s but also see how characterful and interesting the various the shops were. We’ve lost so much over the last 50 years – the shops here justify the phrase ‘shopping experience’.  The perfect antidote to the nippy weather was either Mushy Peas and Faggots or Fish and Chips (fried in beef dripping!).

 A welcome coal fire awaits in the wartime house

A welcome coal fire awaits in the wartime house – rationing was in force

Many of the shops and workshops (including the chippy) could have been on Yeoman Street or High Street anytime between the 40’s and 60’s. For anyone over 50 it was pure nostalgia. Many of the small forges, shoemakers and leather working shops again could have been around in Bonsall within living memory.

The charming 1930s kitchen

The charming 1930s kitchen

We left at 3.15pm but could have seen more. A great day out, highly recommended both for young and old – and a interesting look at what Bonsall shops, pubs and workplaces had to offer in days gone by. Thanks to Slacks Coaches for the excellent driving enquiries@slackscoaches.co.uk

Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. http://www.bclm.co.uk/ The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.

 

 

Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. http://www.bclm.co.uk/ The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.