Bengeo Evening Women’s Institute have teamed up with Hertford Museum to help them recreate a bygone era for local school children.
Helen Gurney, the curator at Hertford Museum, visited the Women’s Institute (WI) last year; to tell them about the exciting renovation of the museum itself, which is currently closed until spring 2010 for a major HLF funded redevelopment. It was then that the idea for a partnership was formed, that could benefit both parties as well as the local school groups who access Hertford Museum’s collections. Hertford Museum is always looking for local organisations to work with on a variety of different projects, so given the chance to team up with the WI was an opportunity not to be missed.
Twelve ladies from the WI (who were also handy seamstresses!) set to work industriously straightaway, the aim to make 12 pinafores so that Eleanor Payne, Learning Officer would be able to use them with school groups. Throughout the museum’s closure Eleanor is still working with schools through outreach; bringing the museum to classrooms around Hertford and Hertfordshire. Eleanor said “These pinafores are a fabulous addition to our costume handling collection. Victorian girls would have worn these to protect their best dresses, much like an apron. They are tied and left open at the back, giving room for manoeuvre and growth! Children gain a greater understanding of what life was like if they are able to experience something for themselves; and these costumes will certainly do that.”
Barbara Payne from the WI said “It has been a wonderful experience to be involved with a local organisation like Hertford Museum. We’ve had lots of fun learning how to be frugal with the fabric, and even took a trip to the stores beneath The V & A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green for inspiration!”
Many thanks for all their hard work!