Category Archives: Newsletters

Newsletter – Sept/Oct 2021

As I reported in the last news letter the ‘There but not there’ outline of a soldier that had been fixed to the exterior wall of the transport gallery of the Tolson Memorial Museum has gone. It had been seriously vandalised and what was left I felt had to be taken down. The police did patrol the garden for several days after this happened and detained someone but I am not aware if it was the culprit.

Up to this point I have always been pleased to be able to tell people that we have very little vandalism in the garden, except sometimes around the base of the plinth. Lets hope that the scale of the last episode is a one off! The lack of vandalism is mainly, I think, because so many of you enjoy walking through the Garden regularly. Problems don’t usually happen in well used places!

The ‘Friends’ committee met on Sunday, the first face to face for over a year! Amongst plans for future events in the Museum and Garden, we discussed what to do next about the vandalised figure. Should we replace it with a replica, if we can get one, or should we go for something different such as a commemorative bench? We had a lengthy discussion at the meeting but did not come to any conclusion, except to agree that we would investigate the prices of some alternatives. However some of us still feel that we ought to try to replace the original.

If you receive this newsletter, you are also a Friend of Tolson & Ravensknowle. We, the committee, would very much like to know your view. The Heritage Memorial Garden is there as we, the Friends, were awarded Heritage Lottery Money many years ago to establish this Heritage Memorial Garden for the community.

Do you think we should replace the outline with a replica? Or go for a bench or something else? We would really like to hear your view, by the end of September. You can contact me in the usual way by email ann.denham3@gmail.com or give me a ring on 07803159506.

The Gardening Club meets every Thursday at 10am for an hour, weather permitting, and I am usually there so you can come and have a chat and give me your view.

I feel that this comes at a very poignant time for us in this area with the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Several men and women from this area gave their lives in this conflict.

Heritage Memorial Garden and Mikron Theatre present…


Atlanta Forever – The story of Women’s Football

12 noon Saturday 4th September

Refreshments. Collection.

To attend the show you need to get a ticket. To do this visit Micron website: https://mikron.org.uk/tour-dates-detail?show=2021-09-04-tolson-museum&c=set

Tolson Motorcycle Show

Tolsom Memorial Museum forecourt.

Sunday 5th Sept

11am — 4pm

Refreshments

Museum open from 12

Gledholt Male Voice Choir

Heritage Memorial Garden

The famous local choir will be entertaining us with a selection of songs

2pm Sunday 19th September

Collection. Refreshments.

Tea & Cake meeting

Wednesday 8th September 2pm

Heritage Memorial Garden

Come and join us in the garden for a catch-up chat and to hear about the programme for the coming few months. Looking forward to seeing you all again.

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 – May/June 2021

Events are beginning to happen—get your diary out!

At last things are beginning to get started again. A group of us have been gardening in the Heritage Memorial Garden for an hour each Thursday morning for the last few, carefully distancing. There is a lot to do but it is amazing what few enthusiasts working together for just an hour once a week can achieve. We also have the help of members of the Good Gym. A group of them come to the Garden periodically after a run and get an amazing amount of weeding and clearing done.

The small individual garden that is to be a Colour Garden in the Kirklees Woven Project is now almost cleared and some plants whose leaves or flowers were once used for dying are being planted. Hopefully by the Woven Exhibition Weekend at the end of June we will have a colourful display for visitors to enjoy. There will also be information describing what uses these plants played in the process of dying to create colourful textiles. Other beds in the garden are also being worked on.

If you have an hour from 10am on a Thursday morning do come and join us.

It is wonderful to see that Tolson Junior Parkrun has been able to start again and the last couple of Sunday morning at 9am there has been a large group of children up to the age of 10 taking part. It is hoped to extend the age of participants to the usual age of 14 soon.

The picture is of Louise Galvin who is the Run Director of Tolson Junior Parkrun. She sees that there is a full compliment of volunteers there each week to make sure that the event can run safely. Refreshments at the end are not at the moment being organised but that will come when restrictions are further relaxed.

During lockdown improvements have been made in the Park. The footpaths that had been in need of attention have been repaired and are now much safer, which was particularly appreciated by Parkrun. Also the flags on the wall surrounding the performance area have been repaired so the wall can be safely used as seating for events in the Garden.

We are looking to getting back to holding events once again in the Garden and Park this summer. The first event will be the Woven weekend on 26/27 June.

Growing Together Woven Weekend 26th – 27th June

The Friends are thrilled that the ‘Growing Together’ project is holding their last event in a fortnight of activities throughout Kirklees in Ravensknowle Park. We will be providing refreshments. Growing together is a natural dyeing project that explores the techniques and processes involved in natural dying and how they can be applied to textile and art making.

You are invited to visit Ravensknowle Park in this final weekend of the Festival to find out more about how to make natural dyes, the kind of suitable plants and materials used and how the dyes can be used in textile artworks and fashion. The ambition of the project is to build a network of colour gardens across Kirklees, and the Friends, in creating a colour garden, are proud to be part of this.

Do come along and pick up a copy of the family friendly workbook of natural dyeing activities to follow as you wander through the Park on this weekend.

Mikron Theatre are back!

Atlanta Forever – The story of Women’s Football

12 noon Saturday 4th September

To attend the show you need to get a ticket. To do this visit Micron website: https://mikron.org.uk/tour-dates-detail?show=2021-09-04-tolson-museum&c=set

Other events this summer

1st August Yorkshire Day.

5th September 11am – 4pm Motorcycle Show.

2pm Sunday 16th May on Zoom Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle AGM – Please join our annual meeting. For details to access the meeting contact Ann.

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 – March/April 2021

The ‘Friends’ looking forward

The primulas are out, the snowdrops are a picture, the days are getting longer. Surely spring is on the way! We can, I think, at last begin to plan for the summer and the rest of the year.

I have just been looking at the earlier newsletters to see what we were planning this time last year. I searched for March – April 2020 and couldn’t find it! I think, with the shock and realisation of the effect of Covid, I had just forgotten to write a newsletter! My apologies! However I eventually gathered my thoughts together and did produce a Newsletter May-June 2020. In that edition we were still making lots of plans, having no idea how long we would be in lockdown or the constraints it would impose.

As I write things do seem to be looking brighter. We now have a ‘one–way road to freedom’ as of 23rd February. I see that it says that museums can open on 12th April which is good news – but it seems you can’t go with a friend!

At our last ‘Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle’ Committee meeting, held on zoom, we began to make plans, but not pencilling anything in until Sunday 1st August when we will celebrate Yorkshire Day. We hope to be able to book some musical concerts in the Heritage Memorial Garden late summer and to have Mikron Theatre putting on one of their plays in the autumn.

The ‘Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle’ programme is planned and run by a small committee. In normal times we meet in the Museum for about one to one and half hours once a month. Recently it has been less frequently and on zoom. We have been going now since 2012 and we are a body constituted with procedures but we have not become a charity. Perhaps we should in future? However my reason for explaining all this is that we would really love for a few of our ‘Friends’ to join us on the committee.

We really appreciate your support at events which over the years has built up. We are approaching a very exciting year for us next year as…

Tolson Memorial Museum opened 100 years ago on 22nd May 1922

We would really appreciate your ideas and perhaps help in putting together a programme to celebrate this important year. We celebrated the signing over of the estate on 31st December 1919. It did take a while to convert Ravensknowle House and Hall into a museum. Staff had to be appointed, display cabinets purchased and items to be collected and arranged for display. It was quite a job but in May 1922 Tolson Memorial Museum was opened by Legh Tolson who was presented with a gold ‘key of the door’. This is now in a case in the Tolson Memorial Museum.

‘Provsional’ Programme 1st August—December 31st 2021

  • Sunday 1st August Yorkshire Day. Activities for all ages in the Museum and in Ravensknowle Park to celebrate Yorkshire Day. Times to be confirmed.
  • Sunday 5th September. 11am – 4pm Motorcycle Show. I have already had enquiries. Tolson Memorial Museum forecourt.
  • Thursday 11th November 10.45 am Remembrance Day Service.
  • Sunday 28th November 11am – 4pm Victorian Christmas Fair.

Tea & Cake Meeting

  • Wednesday 8th September. 2pm Tea & Cake. Woodhead Hall. Speaker
  • Wednesday 13th October 2pm Tea & Cake. Speaker
  • Wednesday 10th November 2pm Tea & Cake. Speaker, or film show
  • Wednesday 8th December 2pm Tea & Cake Christmas Party.

The Tea & Cake events are all free though you can make donations for the refreshments.

Heritage Memorial Garden

The warm weather is making the plants grow, and the weeds, so we should be starting to work in the Heritage Memorial Garden. The Good Gym have already offered to help when they are allowed to. It was a bit hit and miss last year as we met to garden in between the various lock down constraints.

Looking at the ‘road map’ it seems to me that we can meet to garden from 29th March. Thursday morning at about 10am seems to suit most people so I am suggesting starting on 1st April. We have tools but if you can bring your own please do. I have bags for garden refuse.

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 2020

Remembrance 2020

Sadly Remembrance Day for most of us is going to be rather different this year. We, Friends of Tolson & Ravensknowle, usually hold a service at 10.45 on 11th November in the Heritage Memorial Garden. The Rev Margaret Fossey has led the service for the last few years and she offered to hold a service again this year. We normally have a young person play the Last Post and Reveille at the service and local school children join us.

However after taking advice and having a long discussion at our committee meeting, we decided reluctantly not to have a service this year. We are really sorry about this but thinking about the need to keep safe in the present circumstances we came to the conclusion having a service would not be a wise thing to do.

We will however be placing a wreathe at the monument in the Heritage Memorial Garden. We are also having a box placed at the foot of the Memorial so that if you wish to bring your poppy or cross to the Heritage Memorial Garden at some time in the next week or two there is somewhere to place it.

If you are able to get out I hope that you will pay a visit to the Heritage Memorial Garden. A group of us regularly work in the Garden, remembering to follow guidance and keep at a safe distance. The Garden is looking very colourful and we get many compliments as we work. We have just planted a lot of bulbs so there should be quite a show in the spring.

If you do visit the Garden you might wonder why one of the small beds is looking rather empty. It was to have been the herb garden but though there are still some herbs, some rosemary, sage, thyme and chives. It is to be planted with plants whose flowers or leaves were used for dyeing cloth. Though plants like Japanese maple, delphiniums and golden rod can be planted now most plants that were used in the dyeing process are annuals or bi-annuals. That is to say that most of the planting in that bed will be done in the spring, however the bed is being prepared now.

Friends Programme (provisional)

Tea & Cake

13th January 2pm Pam Cooksey – The Woodhead Family.
10th February 2pm – The work of the Welcome Centre.
Free events, donations for refreshments

St Valentines Day Cream Teas

Sunday 14th February 2021
1pm, 2.30pm £6 per person Booking advised.

Woven, a celebration of innovation in Textiles

As I write I am sitting in an upstairs room in an 18th century farmhouse. This room would have at one time had a loom in it – and possibly a bed?. Cloth from this loom would no doubt have been taken to sell in the Cloth Hall in Huddersfield. It is in buildings like this that the creativity and industry that became so successful in Huddersfield started.

Many of us who live here have either worked in a mill or have relatives who have been in the industry. My father in law worked at a mill in Holmfirth, his brother in law worked at the mill in Newsome. Clare, a friend of the family, was a mender at Taylor and Lodge in Lockwood. Sadly they are no longer with us.

As I mentioned in an earlier Newsletter as part of the Woven project the ‘Friends’ are not only growing plants but also taking part in the collecting of experiences of anyone who has worked in the textile industry.

However some of you reading this have experience in the industry or know of someone who worked in it. We would love to hear from you. Please consider sharing this experience. The picture is an example of a selection of textiles with intricate designs in Tolson Memorial Museum.

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 2020

Music in Huddersfield

It is very strange this autumn not to have in my hand by now the 2020/21 programme of choral and orchestral concerts in Huddersfield Town Hall. We are so very fortunate to have such high quality concerts in that lovely building. Also I should have the programme of Monday lunchtime organ concerts.

Gordon Stewart who performs on the wonderful Father Willis organ in the Town Hall is performing his series of Monday lunchtime concerts online until the end of the year. His introduction to the the seasons programme – and to the organ – is available on YouTube. Hopefully normal service will resume in January.

Huddersfield has always been a musical town and there is evidence of that in Tolson Museum. There has been an organ builder in the town for many years and there used to be a firm making violins. We have the desk that was used by the famous soprano Mrs Sunderland. She was born in 1819 in Brighouse and legend goes that as a young girl she was heard singing in her garden at home, her talent recognised, and so was subsequently offered free singing lessons.

By the age of 14 she was invited to sing at public events, even getting some remuneration. It is reported that she thought nothing of walking to Huddersfield to sing at an event and then walking back to Brighouse. This sounds very unlikely, but today we forget that, before public transport as we know it today, people thought nothing of walking up to 10 miles a day to work!

The Huddersfield Choral Society was founded in 1836, and Mrs Sunderland, then Susan Sykes joined at its start. She was a favourite soprano soloist with the Choral Society for many years. However her greatest claim to fame is that she performed before Queen Victoria who reportedly called her ‘the Yorkshire Queen of Song’.

In celebration of her talent, on the occasion of her Golden Wedding, the Mrs Sunderland Musical Competition was launched and the first competition took place in April 1889. It has been an annual event since, the next one is February 2021. Over the years thousands of children, adults, choirs and musicians of all types have taken part in this great musical event which last over two weeks.

Tolson Memorial Museum – Friends Programme

As you can just see from the picture the roof is finished, which is really good news. Oakwell Hall has opened and it is hoped that Tolson Museum will be open at the weekends starting in October. Unfortunately we will not be able to restart the Friends Programme of Tea And Cake get togethers this year. I really miss our meetings, however we plan to start again in January. Pam Cooksey, a local historian was to have given us a talk, about the Woodhead Family in May, however she is booked to join us at our first meeting in the new year. That will be the on Wednesday 13th January 2pm.

We have had to cancel the Victorian Christmas Fair. That is really disappointing as it is the highlight of our year and brings a lot of stalls and people into the museum, and income for the Friends. However we are once again planning a Spring Craft Fair which will be on Sunday 28th March 2021. I had a great many enquiries for a stall at the Spring fair that we should have had this year so that augers well for Spring 2021.

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.