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Come to the Castle over Christmas; stockings and rebellion

December Castle project developments

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Dec news

Welcome to December's Nottingham Castle Transformation newsletter

Heres what the project team has been up to this month

Stained glass - An expert from MDS Stained Glass visited the Castle to view our amazing Camm Bros stained glass window which was commissioned in 1878 to commemorate the opening of the Castle Museum and Art Gallery. 

As part of the transformation project, we would love to re-instate this impressive object to its original location for all to see. 

Michael from MDS was very positive about the condition of the window and gave recommendations for cleaning, glazing and framing which were gratefully received by our curators. He  also explained the importance of the window; 

The size of the individual panes are unusually large. It may well be unique in England, in this regard.

School consultation visits - One of the NCMG Schools Programme Officers, assisted by our activity planners - DBA, began a programme of school consultation this month. 

Meeting with primary and secondary school teachers from across the city, they explained the proposals for school visits to the Castle and collected feedback relating to curriculum areas, facilities and workshops offered. 

These consultations are crucial as some elements will feed not only into the Schools programme but also into the activity plan and architectural design of the Castle.

Partying with the volunteers - The Castle Project Team was lucky enough to get an invite to the famed NCMG Volunteer Programme Christmas Party. 

We took this opportunity to talk to the volunteers about plans for the Castle and answer any queries they had. Volunteers were asked to make a wish for the Castle, and hang them on our Christmas tree. Links to an online volunteer survey about plans for the Castle were also distributed. These results will feed into our activity plan.

Robin and lights

Visit the Castle over Christmas and New Year

The Castle and grounds will be open during the Christmas period. Enjoy our exhibitions and walk round the beautiful grounds. Why not bring visiting relatives for a memorable trip?

From 27 December to 3 January; after the presents have been opened, there is a lovely opportunity for children to say thank you with the chance to make a card for someone special. 2-4pm. 2 per child.

Christmas opening hours (10am - 4pm)
21-23 Dec 
27-31 Dec 
02-03 Jan 

The site is closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January 2016

This is also your last chance to see the wonderful V & A touring exhibition: A World to Win - Posters of Protest and Revolution. The exhibition is open until 17 January 2016. For more information please visit the exhibition website

Free weekend image

Talking about the transformation...

The Castle Project Team was on hand at the Castle throughout the free entry weekend on 12 and 13 December. 

It was fantastic to see the Castle so busy and bustling, and great for us that so many people were interested to learn more about the project.

We were able to present interpretation visuals and answer questions about the proposed transformation. Visitors were also very generous with their time, filling in questionnaires and completing voting activities, the results of which will contribute directly to the shaping of our activity plan for the Castle.

Object of the month - a framework machine

Did you know there is a link between stockings and rebellion?...

This is how your Christmas stockings would have been made in the past!

Knitting machines or stocking frames were the principal method of producing woollen stockings and the domestic system (where workers or stockingers were supplied with a loom and raw material to work from home) dominated production. 

This machine was one of the last to be operated in Doveys Cock Stockinger shop in Calverton, Nottinghamshire. The framework knitting machine will be on display as an object representative of rebellion.

It was presented by Messrs Allen, Solly & Company to commemorate the invention of machine knitting on a similar frame by Reverend William Lee of Calverton in 1589. 

Additions to the machine and new types of machine were introduced throughout the eighteenth century and the English trade came under competition from French developments. During the wars with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France (1793-1815), John Heathcoats bobbin net lace machine began to dominate production.

The Luddites pioneered bobbin net production against inferior goods (cut-ups) and foreign single press point net. During the Luddite disturbances after March 1811, some 1000 stocking frames and 80 lace machines were destroyed in protests against the production of cheap, inferior and foreign manufactures.

Thank you to Richard Gaunt, Associate Professor in Modern History at the University of Nottingham for information on this month's object.

Richard is in a three-year residency with Nottingham Castle Museums and Galleries as Curator of Rebellion and Social Justice, working part-time with the Castles established curators to help develop the new Rebellion Gallery, which is at the heart of the Castle transformation. The post has been funded by Arts Council England.

Stocking frame machine
Associated image picture of the framework knitting machine that will be on display, accession number NIM 1964-11.

Have a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

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