Heritage Lottery Fund
In February, all of the trainees met with Sally Smith, the grants officer based at the Manchester HLF office. This was to tell her what we have all been doing this year, how we have found the programme, and anything we would change. Sally said it was lovely to see us in person and to hear about what we have all achieved this year, as she is behind the paperwork and
oversees the Skills for the Future programme for the area. The success of the programme could possibly secure further funding opportinities, and can improve the programmes for the year 2013-2014. We ended the discussion with a trip to the Plaza tearoom and then it was back to the stores to carry on with Vernon Park decant documentation! It was lovely to meet Sally and hear about her role within the HLF, and that there are opportunities for networking or experiences within other organisations across the North West who are also part of the Skills for the Future programme.
A Henry Weekes marble sculpture entitled ‘Play’, which is part of our collection and has previously been on display at Stockport Art Gallery and Woodbank Hall, was damaged in 2010. The damage to the sculpture resulted in the decapitation of the head, thus needing conservation work to restore it. Jane Foley of Foley Conservation was appointed to work on the sculpture. The sculpture was cleaned using a steamer with distilled water, and preparing the surface with various percentages of paraloid solution. The angle of the head meant that a hoist was needed when fixing the head into position, and for leaving it to set without the danger of it coming away from the main body of the statue again. Here are some images from the process.
The final result is beautiful, and it was brilliant to be able to see the conservation process from beginning to end.
A few objects I have recently accessioned into the collection have been perfect for display in the new display case at the Air Raid Shelters and/or photographed for use on the interpretation panels. They are:
Small tube of Canda ‘Pen Brand’ Anti-Dim solution for gas masks complete with metal case
Gas Mask with Home Office ARP Certifiction Mark and canvas bag
ARP Incendiary Scoop, Pike and extension Pole
and a Red Cross ceramic feeding cup
Each object required an entry in the accession register, and a Modes record
complete with acquisition and donor details, detailed description, condition report and measurements. The objects were then marked with the appropriate tools, and the gas mask bag, as a textile, was frozen for precautionary purposes. The items which were photographed for use on the interpretation panels were then found a home to be put straight into the collection. The items which are to be used in the display case (the feeding cup and the Anti-Dim solution) were put in a temporary location with the other objects awaiting display at the Shelters site.
I am also currently accessioning a variety of American and British 1930s – 1970s hats which were kindly donated to us by a milliner and collector of hats.
Researching hat labels found inside the hats is very interesting and has helped me to date the hats more specifically. Hats include a 1950s-60s swirled rosette hat made with pleated ribbon by Edward Mann of London; a 1950s ‘whimsy’ cocktail hat made by The United Hatters of North America; a hat box from the millinery section of the department store Sage-Allen & Co. of Connecticut, and a hat with a veil and feathers from the ‘Dover’ line of hats made by Henry Pollak of New York.
The Pollak hat also features a New York Creation label which shows the consumer the hat is made by a member of the New York Dress Institute which dates the hat to the late 1940s – 50s. I was able to find some information about Pollak’s ‘Dover’ line, found here at Trade.mar.cx which is an online collection of worldwide trademarks. The application for the trademark of the ‘Dover’ line was made to the United States Patent office in 1947 by Henry Pollak Inc., and so dates the hat from 1947 onwards to 1955 when the New York Creation label was last used.
There are many more hats from the same donation to accession, which are detailed on the Entry form from when Katie took the donation in. I am excited to see what I find every time I open a box and am looking forward to accessioning the two dresses which were also donated with the hats. They date from the 1920s and the 1940s. Hopefully I will manage to accession them before I finish my year, which is approaching far far far too quickly 😦