A warm welcome – with a twist – awaits

Almost six months since Covid-19 forced the Haworth’s doors to close, they have at last been able to reopen to the public.  Today,  the gallery can once again welcome visitors inside its lovely old walls.

It’s a red letter day – and one which staff and volunteers have been keenly anticipating, working hard to accommodate visitors as safely as possible.

Yvonne Robins retired as Gallery Manager during lock-down. Yvonne oversaw the Haworth’s Stables Studios transformation and a large increase in the gallery’s visitor numbers.

Things will of course be slightly different – in more ways than one. During lock-down, the Haworth’s popular and long-serving Gallery Manager, Yvonne Robins, made the difficult decision to retire.

Yvonne made an enormous contribution to the gallery, overseeing the Stables Studios transformation, introducing the Haworth Artists’ Network, the free family workshop and Sunday concert programmes, and increasing visitor numbers and weddings at the Haworth.  Yvonne will be greatly missed – we all wish her the very best in her future life.

Meanwhile, Curator Gillian Berry and the rest of the Haworth team are delighted to be welcoming visitors back to the gallery – with a few small but important changes to visitor protocols.

The Haworth’s doors are once again open to visitors – we hope to see you soon!

Walk-in visits are welcome, but special precautionary measures are of course in place to ensure visitor safety.

A maximum of 20 visitors are allowed at any one time in the gallery space – excluding the Gallery Kitchen, which is also open to the public.

Gallery opening hours will be from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 4pm. The Gallery Kitchen opens from 11.30am to 4.30pm, also from Wednesday to Sunday.

Visitors are asked to wear face masks and to follow the special signage and guidance. Hand sanitiser is provided and visitors are requested to use it on arrival.

Distancing is requested to the greatest extent possible between visitors.

Staff, volunteers and Friends all hope that visitors will be able to join us at the Haworth very soon – and enjoy the many delights of our loveliest of local attractions.

Welcome back!

Spring has Sprung in Haworth Park

By Jean Emmett – A Walk in the Park

Walking through Haworth Park at the moment is delightful. The birds are singing their hearts out and they are very audible as there is little traffic noise and very few people in the park. I even saw a nuthatch in one of the trees. They are usually secretive and difficult to spot.  The trees are coming into leaf and there are spring flowers about. It’s good to take a moment to look and watch. Butterflies are fluttering around and even the squirrels are being more adventurous.

This week the gardeners have been busy taking out straggly bushes. I asked if they were planting more or maybe wild flowers, but the powers that be have decided to grass over where the bushes were. I suppose it’s easier for maintenance, but not as good for the soul!

It was interesting seeing the gardeners with a JCB trying to pull out the stumps. The driver couldn’t see where the stumps were for the bucket on the front of the digger. He was being instructed by another gardener – back a bit, forward a bit, down a bit, close the bucket, PULL. The stumps did come out eventually, but each took a while.

The gallery of course is closed, but it’s presence is felt as you walk round. Really can’t wait for it to open again. It is greatly missed.

I hope all the staff are staying well. Look forward to seeing them all again when this covid crisis is over.

Jean Emmett

Lancashire Lifesavers!

A group of Haworth volunteers, Friends and staff have received training in performing CPR and using a defibrillator, thanks to Lancashire Adult Learning which provided a free workshop delivered in house especially for us at the Haworth Art Gallery.

Following a joint venture with Friends, gallery and restaurant staff to raise money last year, we now have a 24 hour public access defibrillator in the gallery grounds.* A number of Haworth employees are already trained in CPR but new members, Friends and volunteers welcomed the opportunity to take part in a session delivered by a professional trainer and ex-nurse.

The session was well attended and the group learned about essential information regarding cardiac arrest and heart attacks. There was also the opportunity for hands-on practice with the resuscitation mannequins and defibrillator machines. Feedback for the session was very positive with all agreeing that it was pitched just at the right level and we came away feeling much more informed and confident about how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator on adults and children.

Defibrillators come with clear instructions and often have audio messages to assist the user. However, in the heat of the moment it may be quite daunting and therefore having previous experience and knowing what to expect when using a defibrillator might make a significant difference.

Lancashire Adult Learning offer FREE Lifesaver courses throughout the year at venues around Lancashire.

For more information or to book on a session please contact them on: 0333 003 1717

Or you can enrol online at www.lal.ac.uk

*The Haworth’s defibrillator can be found on the exterior side wall of the main gallery building, adjacent to the Hollins Lane entrance.

Haworths, history and heritage at St John’s, Baxenden

Friends of Haworth Art Gallery helped stage and narrate a delightful exhibition of the history, heritage and fine folk of Baxenden – at St John’s Church in the village. Conceived and hosted by the church, the exhibit brought together visual and oral histories, presented by local interest groups at a special launch event. The Friends focused on the Haworth’s place in Baxenden’s history and the many terrific tales from within its walls – not least, of the Haworth family.

They regaled residents with the history of the house and the fascinating lives of those who lived and worked there in its days as Hollins Hill, the private home of William and Anne Haworth. The Haworths lived in the house from 1909 to 1920, when Anne died – William predeceased her in 1913.

William was a philanthropic man. He gave generously of his time and money to many worthwhile causes and individuals in the area. He was a good employer, who paid decent wages and cared for the welfare of his workers. He was no saint, however, and didn’t suffer fools gladly. He was known to sport a sarcastic wit and a sharp tongue on occasion!

Anne was a beacon of benevolence. Although not much in the public eye, she was well known for her generosity. Like her brother, she was a well-liked employer. Her staff – once they arrived at Hollins Hill – never left, which was testament to her treatment of them.

Among her many acts of generosity, Anne donated her Wolseley car for use as Accrington’s first motorised ambulance – completely fitted out with the most state-of-the-art equipment at the time. On her death, she bequeathed the house and grounds to the people of Accrington, to be used in perpetuity as a museum and art gallery, with the grounds to become a public park.  She also left bequests to every one of her staff.

Staff featured in the exhibition were Anne’s companion, Ellen Priestley;  William’s valet, Abraham Whiston, who would later become Anne’s butler and subsequently the first curator of the museum; chauffeur Joseph Taylor; coachman William Beach; undergardener, Joseph Cowling, and cook, Elizabeth Shaw.

The Friends’ display also featured artifacts for visitors to see and handle, including a parasol and a silk beaded shawl, such as Anne would have worn; a top hat just like the ones William would have used; and Edwardian jewellery just like the objects Anne and Ellen would have possessed. Personal items of yesteryear, such as clogs, and period household items like laundry equipment were also on display.

The exhibition ran for nine days , in which time, almost 900 people enjoyed the displays mounted by the Friends and other exhibitors. Friends’ trustee Roger Cunliffe also had a display on the history of the mills, trams and roads in the Baxenden area near Haworth Art Gallery. It featured a model steam engine and models of trams, coaches and other vehicles that would have seen use in the local area through time.

We at the Friends enjoyed our part in the exhibition immensely. We can’t wait for the next local heritage event. Looking forward – and looking back -2021 will see the centenary of the Haworth as the town’s art gallery. Keep your eyes peeled!

Peter takes a shot in the Billiard Room

Photographer Peter Graham has been working on interior shots of the Haworth to capture the overall layout of the rooms, the stunning plaster-work and intricate details of the wood carvings.  His photographs will be cataloged for the Haworth archives, as there are currently very few images of specific architectural details of the house.  They will also be displayed on our website and on other media.  Peter’s work here forms part of his second year degree syllabus for Photographic Media at Blackburn College.

Alison

Bats about bats!

Did you know that lots of bats live in the grounds of the Haworth Art Gallery and Stables?…………..

What are bats? (Not the cricket kind) 

Ever seen a shape at tree-top level fly past at dusk?  It could be a bird going back to it’s nest…… Or it could be a bat.  Video: bats leaving cave

Flying mammals

Bats are the only mammals that can really fly and British bats hunt insects at both dawn and dusk. One bat can eat 3000 insects in a night’s hunting. Bats live in houses & trees as well as caves.

Bat detectors

With the help of a bat detector, (as seen in the picture above), you can identify if it’s a bat and often which of the 18 different species found in Britain. Bats hunt by sending out sound waves most people can’t hear. The detector makes the sounds into a range we can hear. Simple ones are around £50.

When to see bats

Bats hibernate in winter when fewer insects are flying. Some birds are also fewer in winter but they feed all year round.

Roger

HDR Shot of the Haworth House

We are pleased to have photographer Peter Graham on board to take some interesting shots of the Haworth main house, stables and motor-house.  Peter is a degree student at Blackburn College studying Photographic Media and is undertaking a live project for the Friends as part of his 2nd year syllabus.  Here is just one of the pictures from his first shoot.

Alison

Friends meeting

A good meeting this week with lots more info being unearthed in the archives. Also contact from June who used to work at the gallery in the days when Jennifer Rennie was the curator.  A carrier bag full of articles and notes together with a copy of the research done by the American descendants of Joseph Briggs. There are some notes about documents held by the Borthwick Institute which will need further investigation.
We welcomed Melinda to our group.  Melinda moved here with husband 12 years ago and the gallery was the first building they visited, and have kept contact ever since.  Her involvement in other charitable trusts means she brings valuable expertise to our group.
Lots of discussion about applying for funding.  A scheme exists for sums of £3000 to £10000 and funds are available for an assortment of uses.  The need for IT equipment and training into its application into archive recording, research and investigation was acknowledged.  A draft application form was studied and will be subject to further discussion in the very near future.
the photographic project with mature student Peter Graham has produced the firsts set of images and these indicate the businesslike manner he has approached the task.  Peter is currently recording all the fine detail of carvings within the Music Room.
The Friends will have their first public appearance in a Craft Fayre proposed by the gallery management.  We will have the opportunity to explain our aspirations and recruit new members to the group.

Harry