NADFAS Heritage Volunteers learn specialist skills to help archive the nation’s treasures
Charnwood DFAS tackle a bell foundry archive
In October 2015 a group from Charnwood DFAS started to work on the very full and extensive archive at Taylor’s Bell Foundry, Loughborough. As one of only two bell founders remaining in the country, Taylor’s can date bell founding in this area back to the 14th century, and its own presence there to 1784.
The volunteers are working in the foundry that the firm moved to in 1839. Since that date nearly every bill, letter, inspection and inscription book and all plans and bell details have been preserved, and it is this archive that the volunteers are conserving. There are also much older records once all these have been completed.
Volunteering in a building that is a working foundry is certainly a very different experience, but the sense of a continuous history and so much detailed and fascinating information makes it very compelling.
Derby & Dove Valley DFAS gets to grip with a the archive at the Royal Crown Derby Museum
In June 2015 a group of volunteers from Derby and Dove Valley DFAS along with a few more experienced book conservers from Notts. DASF, started work on the archive at the Royal Crown Derby Museum. This contains not only Day books, wage books and other working ledgers, but many loose letters, advertisements, assorted papers and some pattern books and vase illustrations on card.
The exquisite details of the hand-painted vases cards and pattern books are a treat in themselves, but the day-to-day details of a working pottery over the last century and more, are also fascinating.
An added bonus for the volunteers is working in the centre of the museum itself, surrounded by beautiful examples of the best in ceramics.