Bring back the workhouse?

Workhouse Network

We had a really successful Workhouse Network meeting here on Tuesday 25th. The Workhouse Network is a group of workhouse museum sites that are all interested in workhouse history, together with academics, archivists and family history researchers. We were catching up with each other’s news, but also planning our Autumn Meeting which will take place on Monday 18th September at Llanfyllin Workhouse in Wales. The Autumn Meeting will be entitled “Bring back the workhouse? And will look at how workhouse sites are tackling modern issues of poverty and welfare. We are also looking at more long term plans for a joint conference on “health, wealth and welfare” next year and a research project looking at creating a touring temporary exhibition about out relief – help given outside of the workhouse.

This cartoon is called ‘Interior of an English workhouse under the new poor law act’.
It shows inmates with shaved heads picking oakum and beating hemp.

Collections Gallery

We were allowed back into the collections gallery last week and with the help of some brave souls (huge thank you to Helen and Steve Bainbridge, Sue Marsh, Terry Brown and Heather Ryder) we managed to clean all the interior shelves and the inside of the glass. We also worked on the installation of the Rural Lives temporary exhibition (almost all the images are up now) and put together all the flat pack furniture. The space is really coming together and is ready for us to start installing objects this week.

HLF monitoring meeting

We also had a meeting with representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund. As well as being very impressed with the Collections Gallery progress, it also gave us an opportunity to review progress with the Activity Plan. It is hard to believe we only have one more year of this project!!


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