The Framework Knitters Museum has been awarded the prestigious Sandford Award for its new education programme. This is the third time the museum’s schools programme has received an award this year. International and regional recognition has included awards for Innovation and Working with Young People. In addition the museum was the only British winner of the European, Heritage in Motion Award for the unique film which forms the core of the programme. The Sandford Award crowns an exceptional year for the museum.
The Sandford Award is a national quality assurance mark of distinction awarded to education programmes at museums, heritage sites and archives across the British Isles. All winners pass a rigorous assessment process overseen by independent, expert judges. The ceremony was presented by Professor Peter Neil, Vice Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, and was held at the London Transport Museum.
Paul Baker, the museum manager, said “we are all thrilled to have been awarded such a prestigious accolade for the museum, alongside such respected institutions as the Science Museum and the London Transport Museum. Educational visits form a large part of our visitor base, and to receive confirmation that what we provide is such a high standard is really rewarding.”
The museum’s education programme is centred on an innovative interactive film, called Breaking the Frame. The film’s narrative follows a young framework knitter during the Luddite riots. This character faces a variety of dilemmas when dealing with his exploitative employer and struggling to provide for his family. The audience ultimately chose which direction the film takes by advising the framework knitter when confronting dilemmas. This process allows the audience to explore their moral choices, and experience the consequences of them, in a safe environment.
The film is supplemented by an array of resources, which include detailed lesson plans, historical letters and documents, and classroom games. The film and resources are all available for free on the museums website, and can be used in conjunction with a trip to the museum, or on their own. You can view the resources and the film at www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk/education-section
The Framework Knitters Museum is Nottinghamshire’s only working textile museum. It celebrates the trade, and associated workers, which gave birth to Nottingham’s Lace Industry and the violent Luddite uprising. Situated on the outskirts of Nottingham, in the small village of Ruddington, the museum is located in a preserved early nineteenth century knitter’s yard. The site includes frameshops, workers cottages, and a chapel where the workers worshipped. The museum underwent a £100,000 redevelopment last year, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Nottinghamshire County Council.