I am aware that I have been woefully neglecting this blog, but I have rather a long list of excuses, some of them pretty good. My most recent distraction, if that’s the right word, was a summer school which we ran over three weeks in July. One of the sessions was about the experiences of women during the two World Wars and I showed the students examples of women’s uniforms including the one you can see below.
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.
Christina Broom: A pioneering photographer
It is almost a year now since I first laid eyes on an extraordinary private collection of photographs by Christina Broom.