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Brushing off the Dust

I’ll be starting work at the Museum next week, meeting and interviewing volunteers and starting my programme of workshops. On Thursday 11.00-12.00, one of the volunteers will be presenting Focus on Collections, a chance to see some of the objects not on display in the Museum. In my writing workshop from 12.15-1.45 participants will write about what we have seen. I have no idea what that will be so I’m really looking forward to sharing that discovery with people at the workshop. Focus on Collections is free to attend and the writing workshop costs £5.00 payable on the day. No previous experience is necessary. Do come along – we’ll be upstairs. See the Workshop page for further information about the workshop programme.

When I first decided to begin researching the carpet industry I visited the Carpet Museum Archive where lots of volunteers were busily involved in getting a huge amount of material ready to be moved to the new Museum. My visit was in December 2011 and the Museum opened in October 2012. I was impressed by the painstaking work going on that day – one woman patiently untangling a massive bundle of yarn and rolling it into balls; two others carefully brushing the dust from every single page of a precious book. While I was there, Charles Talbot (Founder Member and Hon Sec of the Carpet Museum Trust) arrived glowing after a successful meeting. Here’s the poem I wrote shortly afterwards:

Brushing off the dust
describing visit to Archives December 2011

Yarns unravelled, teased apart,
measured, checked, recorded, packed;
business suit negotiations
done and dusted, wrapped and stacked.

Sticky traps for Tineola
bisselliella, here like me,
hungry for that human sweat,
the dirt of living honesty.

Carpets waiting to be frozen,
patient ledgers hoarding dust,
red rot staining sleeve and shelving,
ashes of Dyer and Colourist.

© Heather Wastie
December 2011

 Tineola bisselliella – clothes moth

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