All posts by hpolhost

Newsletter – May/June 2020

The Museum, Park and lock down

Early the other morning on the way to the supermarket I sneaked into the Park. The blossom was magnificent. I also walked around the outside of the museum and found work is continuing on the roof. Hopefully by the time every thing is back to normal it will be finished!

Because of the current circumstances the events in the Museum, Garden and Park, organised by the ‘Friends’, have had to been cancelled until the end of July. I do not know what will happen after that date but I will keep you informed.

It was so disappointing to have to cancel the Spring Craft Fair as we had more people interested in having a stall than we could accommodate. Fortunately several have booked for the Victorian Christmas Fair in November which is encouraging.

The speakers we should have had at Tea & Cake meeting on a Wednesday afternoon during this period are booked for the first few months next year. The visit to the Coal Mining Museum can also be organised for June next year. The three concerts in the Park in May, June, and July have been booked for the same Sundays next year.

Unfortunately Mikron Theatre, who entertain us so wonderfully, have cancelled their whole years programme. We just hope that they will be back with us next year. It is so sad that we are not able to celebrate V E day celebrations in the Garden this May Bank holiday. We had organised a lady to come and sing 1940s songs and we planned to dress up accordingly. We will just have to find another occasion to have a celebration!

Cath and her colleagues of the Museum Service are busy despite the lock down. They have set a challenge! They want to know what is our favourite object in the Museum, why we like it so much and what we know about it’s story. They suggest a maximum 100 words. They will put the information on social media and the item which gets the most reaction will get a prize!

Ideas to Cathryn.pike@kirklees.gov.uk I’ve already thought about mine! P.S. Want help! Look at the Friends of Tolson website. There is a list of 100 items in the Museum with pictures. www.friendsoftolson.org.uk. Best of luck.

WOVEN – A Celebration of Innovation in Textiles

This is an event that is to take place bi annually in Kirklees. There were several events to mark the opening of this celebration last year but there are plans for a much bigger event next year 2021. In preparation for this plans are taking shape.
The ‘Friends’ are being involved in several events which I hope you will want to join.

  1. Tea & Cake 2pm on 12th August. This meeting will be devolved to learning about the experiences of working in the textile industry. I hope to have a speaker who has worked in a mill. However a contribution from any of you that come to our meetings and have worked in the textile trade would be really welcome. If you can bring along any photographs of mills or working in the mill that would also be great. Out of the discussions at this meeting I hope that I can compile a list of you who are prepared to later to write about your experiences in the textile trade or be recorded by me talking about your experiences for this ‘Celebration’ It does not matter in what capacity you worked or when it was. Also it does not have to be your own memories, it can be that of a friend or relative. (If necessary this can be later in the year!)
  2. How are you at sewing? Another interesting project that could come out of this relates to sewing skills. Many young people do not have basic sewing skills, such as sewing a button on or sewing up a hem. A group of people who have these skills, such as many of you who come to Tea & Cake, could share these abilities with children in a local school. It could be a really rewarding experience for all which could be planned for the autumn.
  3. Colouring the cloth is one of the processes in the making of textiles that is very important. Many dyes come from plants and the idea is that one of three ‘community gardens’ in the Heritage Memorial gardens is devoted to growing plants that provide a dye. There is some research that needs to be done to establish what plants we need to grow and what conditions they need to flourish, however this is a really interesting idea for those of us who love gardening.

I would welcome any ideas and thoughts on any of these projects, please email me or give me ring. These are really exciting projects.

I take part in ‘Zoom’ on line planning meetings so it would be wonderful to go to the next one in early June armed with some feedback from you. Don’t let me down!

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle are members of the British Association of Friends of Museums. The President of this organisation is HRH Duke of Gloucester. We have had message from him in these difficult times.

“Best wishes to all members, staff and volunteers while we enter unprecedented period of uncertainty and worry.”

HRH Duke of Gloucester

I am told “He is very much aware of the concerns that your people will have at the moment as this pandemic develops and would want you to know you are all very much on his mind.”

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The committee of 'Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle' meet once a month usually on the 3rd Sunday afternoon in the month. All 'Friends of Ravensknowle & Tolson’ are very welcome to join us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: ann.denham3@gmail.com

If you want to join us and become a 'Friend', the cost is just £3 for one person and £5 for a couple for life! See how you can get involved.

Newsletter – January/February 2020

Celebration of 31st December 1919

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle were proud to entertain the Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Muntaz Hussain and the Mayoress Mrs Noreen Hussain in the Woodhead Hall in the Tolson Memorial Museum. The Mayor and Mayoress had been invited to join us to celebrate the giving of Ravensknowle Hall and Estate to the people of Huddersfield exactly 100 years ago. It was given to be used as a local museum.

The Mayor was welcomed. He then spoke to us about the importance of marking this occasion. He said this gift by Legh Tolson, in memory of his two nephews Robert Huntress Tolson and James Martin Tolson, created one of the most notable war memorials sites in Kirklees reminding us of all those in Huddersfield who have died in conflict of the last hundred years.

He spoke about the success of the Museums and Galleries team in winning funding for a project called ‘Bringing out the Best’. He said that this funding will enable the team to explore the future of the Museums and Galleries service including the appropriate future for Tolson Museum.

He thanked we Friends for all our work including the creating of the Heritage Memorial Garden, our programme of community events in the Museum and Garden and the weekly junior parkrun. He said our work enhanced the original purpose of the gift, that the place should be a ‘place of recreation and education’.

The Mayor was presented with a plaque by the ‘Friends’ to mark the occasion. It reads:-

This plaque was presented on 31st December 2019 to Kirklees Council by the ‘Friends’ of Tolson and Ravensknowle on the occasion of the Centenary of the gift of the Ravensknowle to Huddersfield Corporation for the people of Huddersfield on 31st December 1919.

With grateful thanks to the Tolson family who made the gift in memory of James Martin Tolson and Robert Huntress Tolson who lost their lives during the course of the First World War.

The plaque will be placed in the WW1 Memorial Gallery. I hope that you will all come to have a look at it.

Tea & Cake – Woodhead Hall, Tolson Memorial Museum

2pm – 3.30pm. Free events.
Second hand book stall. Refreshments.

  • 8th Jan. The story of Emily Frances Siddon an amazing woman from Honley by local historian Peter Marshal.
  • 12th Feb. The developments of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Stirley Community Farm.
  • 11th Mar. Mining Disasters and the changes they made in the mining industry. Speaker from the National Mining Museum

Cream Teas – Morning Room, Tolson Memorial Museum

1pm or 2.30pm £5 per person.Bring your family to celebrate.

  • St Valentine’s Day. Sunday 16th February 2020
  • Mothering Sunday. Sunday 22nd March 2020

Booking advisable.

Spring Craft Fair

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The committee of 'Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle' meet once a month usually on the 3rd Sunday afternoon in the month. All 'Friends of Ravensknowle & Tolson’ are very welcome to join us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: ann.denham3@gmail.com

If you want to join us and become a 'Friend', the cost is just £3 for one person and £5 for a couple for life! See how you can get involved.

Newsletter – November/December 2019

The Gift to the people of Huddersfield

On the 31st December 1919 Legh Tolson gave his house and park to the people of Huddersfield.

It was on that day that a contract, was made between Legh Tolson and the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of Huddersfield. This marvellous gift included the

‘hereditaments’ and premises comprising’ the Mansion House called Ravensknowle and the dwelling house called Ravenshill’

(at this time the building had been divided in to two adjoined houses.)

Legh Tolson required that this gift be

‘a lasting memorial and tribute to his two nephews Second Lieutenant Robert Huntriss Tolson and Second Lieutenant James Martin Tolson who died in service of their country in the late European War…’

The gift was accepted. The document agreed and declared:-

– To place at all times … a tablet recording that the gift was made as a lasting memorial and tribute to the memory of the said Robert Huntries Tolson and James Martin Tolson.

– The said Mansion House and Dwellinghouse shall be used as a museum and the Corporation will as far as is reasonably possible adopt the scheme for the development of a local museum outlined in the short treaties by Thomas William Woodhead Ph.D, M.SC., F.L.S. … Approved by the General Purposes Committee on 12th August 1919.

– … the whole of the said estate and premises shall for ever hereafter be used for the purposes of a museum park recreation ground or other purposes of a like nature.

It was

Signed, sealed and delivered by Legh Tolson, J Henry Field, Town Clerk, J Nicholas Grimhaw, Solicitor with the corporation. The Commom Seal of the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of Huddersfield was hereun to affixed.

The full document, all three pages of it, can be read here »

To celebrate this momentous event the Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle, with other special guests, will be invited to an event in Tolson Museum on 31st December 2019. Invitations to follow.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Tea & Cake

2pm – 3.30pm. Free events.
Second hand book stall. Refreshments.

13th Nov. Picture show of local events by Huddersfield Filmmakers Club.

11th Dec. Christmas Party with entertainment.

8th Jan. The story of Emily Frances Siddon an amazing woman from Honley by local historian Peter Marshal.

12th Feb. The developments of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Stirley Community Farm.

Tolson Memorial Museum

The very successful afternoon tea with live music. We will definitely be putting on another such event next year.

Heritage Memorial Garden, Tolson Memorial Museum

Service of Remembrance
Monday 11th November 10.45
Led by the Rev Margaret Fossey
Refreshments in the Museum.

The Autumn Lecture by Dr Alice Brumby

The Woodhead Hall was full for the lecture about the Huddersfield War Hospital at Royds Hall. We learnt that at the time it was one of the biggest hospitals treating servicemen in the country with at one time nearly 2,000 beds and was believed to have had the lowest death rate in the country. From 1916 a Hospital Magazine was produced monthly by the patients. It is from these publications that so much can be learnt about conditions in the hospital and the humour that was found even in such difficult circumstances. This hospital was well served by the people of Huddersfield who not only raised money but brought thousands of eggs to the hospital!

Stop press.

The latest on the Tolson Museum roof, though nothing can be seen, works are ongoing in preparation for the repair of the roof.

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The committee of 'Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle' meet once a month usually on the 3rd Sunday afternoon in the month. All 'Friends of Ravensknowle & Tolson’ are very welcome to join us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: ann.denham3@gmail.com

If you want to join us and become a 'Friend', the cost is just £3 for one person and £5 for a couple for life! See how you can get involved.

Newsletter – September/October 2019

Repairs to Tolson Memorial Museum

As we reported in the May – June Edition there are to be repairs to the fabric of Tolson Memorial Museum. In the Kirklees Council Budget of 2019/2020 £300,000 is allocated for repairs, mostly to the roof. We were delighted with this and we learn that there will be workmen in the Museum from October onwards. As a result of the work the ‘birds’ will have to be found a temporary home and several rooms upstairs will be out of action. This will not affect our Tea & Cake meetings. We have a full programme going into next year, but regrettably we are not able to hold our annual Victorian Christmas Fair. This is really unfortunate as the Victorian Christmas Fair has become very popular and I have already had many requests to have a stall. There will be a Victorian Christmas Fair in 2020. The Friends are however going ahead with their first Spring Craft Fair on Sunday 29th March, just a week before Easter. Many of those who have contacted me regarding a stall at Christmas are already signing up to be at our Spring Craft Fair. It promises to be an interesting event with a great variety of stalls.

The rain came down on Wednesday when the Tea & Cake group should have been out on the bowling green learning to play Croquet! However we adjourned to the Morning Room in the Museum and had a discussion about the proposed plans for the future of Huddersfield town . We still enjoyed tea and homemade cake! Margaret Wood, and a colleague of the Croquet Club, joined us and Margaret handed out details of the opening times of the Croquet Club and invited anyone interested to go along. (Mon.1.30pm- 4.00pm, Tues 10.00am– 12.20pm, Wed 6.00pm-8pm Fri. 1.30pm— 4pm.)

The Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle are members of the national body of the British Association of Friends of Museums BAfM. I attended the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Conference which was held recently in the Mansion House, Doncaster, Whilst there we went on a tour of the building which is a fine Georgian house. It is is really worth a visit if you are in Doncaster. The picture is of a beautiful epergne and table decoration in the Mansion House dining room.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Tea & Cake

2pm – 3.30pm 2nd Wed in month. Free.
Donation for refreshments. All welcome.

11th Sept. Dry Stone Walling, the challenge of repairing the walls which are so much part of our countryside.

9th Oct. The Jewellery Trade in Huddersfield. Talk by Ian Fillan.

13th Nov. Huddersfield Filmmakers Club.

6th Annual Motorbike Show

Motorbike Show Sunday 8th Sept 11am – 4pm

Full range of bikes, stalls and refreshments.

Heritage Memorial Garden, Tolson Memorial Museum

All Hands on Deck Saturday 14th September 12pm – 2pm

Mikron Theatre join us again with one of their wonderful shows. The play is full of dots, dashes, semaphore and song. Some seats in the Garden but bring your own if you can. Free event, collection taken. Refreshments before the event and in the interval.

Tolson Memorial Museum

Afternoon Tea with live entertainment – Sunday 6th October 1pm or 2.30pm

Pianist Lee Mathews will play in the lovely morning room.

Booking essential. 1pm or 2.30pm £10.

From 2nd Sept on line from eventbrite or Ann or Museum.

Huddersfield War Hospital Magazines Lecture – Sunday 13th October 2pm

Lecture by Dr Alice Bumbry.

Magazines were produced by the hospital, now Royds Hall, during WW1 and are kept in Tolson Memorial Museum. They will be on display at the lecture.

2pm. Free event.

Hallowe’en – Thursday 31st October 2.30pm

Make lanterns and go for a spooky walk in the Park.

£2 per child.

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The committee of 'Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle' meet once a month usually on the 3rd Sunday afternoon in the month. All 'Friends of Ravensknowle & Tolson’ are very welcome to join us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: ann.denham3@gmail.com

If you want to join us and become a 'Friend', the cost is just £3 for one person and £5 for a couple for life! See how you can get involved.

Newsletter – July/August 2019

The newsletter and our programme

The ‘Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle’ have been sending a newsletter out every other month for several years now. Everyone who signs up and pays the £3 single or £5 couple subscription to support the keeping of Tolson Memorial Museum as the Museum of Huddersfield receives a newsletter. The newsletter is sent to you by email or if you do not have an email it is posted to you.

We have just reviewed the list of supporters which is extensive and as a result we hope that everyone who has paid up gets the Newsletter. You only pay once, your payment is for life. If you have just got an email, do let us know so we can add your name to the email list, and of course if you don’t want to hear from us we will take you off the list.

As ever we have had some excellent speakers this year at ‘Tea & Cake’ meetings on the second Wednesday afternoon in the month. David Cockman gave us an extensive picture show about the Honley Pleasure Gardens. We were reminded that there were really pleasure gardens in Honley and people caught the tram in Huddersfield to come to the Pleasure Gardens for a day out. We also had a really informative session about First Aid by Vivienne Rowden of the British Red Cross. At the end I think that we all felt faced with an emergency we were better equipped to take some action.

The summer outing this year was to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. What a wonderful place with so many varied exhibitions. But it rained! However everyone agreed that it was a good outing. The picture here is the inside of a chapel at YSP with a mirror on the floor, white walls black woodwork and refraction windows . Most unusual.

It is lovely working in the Heritage Memorial Garden on a Saturday morning. Now it is more established we can really see what is planted and can look at how we can make it more wildlife friendly with colour all year round. Any expert advice to help us to achieve this would be most welcome.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Tea & Cake

2pm – 3.30pm 2nd Wed in month. Free.
Donation for refreshments. All welcome.

10th July. Poems and tales about your favourite animals. Bring your own stories.

14th August. Joint meeting with the Croquet Club. If wet games in the Museum.

11th Sept. Dry Stone Walling, the challenge of repairing the walls which are so much part of our countryside.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Cream Teas

1pm – 3pm Morning Room
£5 per person, booking advised.

Sunday 4th August. Yorkshire Day – Bring your family to celebrate Yorkshire Day by having one of our famous cream teas.

Heritage Memorial Garden Events

Brass for all by Emley Brass Band Sunday 14th July 2pm – 3.30pm

The award winning band playing a programme of popular brass band music. Some seats but bring your own if you can. Free event, collection taken. Refreshments before the event and in the interval.

Jazz in the Garden with New Orleans Wiggle. Sunday 18th August 2pm – 4pm

A local six piece band playing vocals jazz, blues, spirituals and swing. Some seats but bring your own if you can. Free event, collection taken. Refreshments before the event and in the interval.

All Hands on Deck Saturday 14th September 12pm – 2pm

Mikron Theatre join us again with one of their wonderful shows. The play is full of dots, dashes, semaphore and song. Some seats but bring your own if you can. Free event, collection taken. Refreshments before the event and in the interval.

Tolson Memorial Museum Events

Motorbike Show Sunday 8th Sept 11am – 4pm

Full range of bikes, stalls and refreshments.

Heritage Memorial Garden Gardening

10am – 11.30am on the following dates, weather permitting:

  • 13th July
  • 27th July
  • 10th Aug
  • 24th Aug

About Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle

The committee of 'Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle' meet once a month usually on the 3rd Sunday afternoon in the month. All 'Friends of Ravensknowle & Tolson’ are very welcome to join us.

For more information please contact Volunteer Ann, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle. m: 07803159506 email: ann.denham3@gmail.com

If you want to join us and become a 'Friend', the cost is just £3 for one person and £5 for a couple for life! See how you can get involved.