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Textile conservation crisis

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:23 am
by Annie the Pedlar
Apologies if Magot has got here first but I'm so cross. I'm fuming! I'm incensed!
They are threatening to close the textile conservation centre formally at Hampton Court now at Winchester.

Here's the message the Kentwellies have picked up.

OK, not many of you have heard of the Textile Conservation Centre in Winchester; but if you're museum staff, or costume historians, or otherwise have any serious interest in the preservation of some of the most fragile of our historic artefacts, and if you support the training of world-class conservators to do more of the same elsewhere, then please go to:
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/TCCclosure
and sign up!
Otherwise it will be closed by the 'if it doesn't make a profit it can't be important' mentality that has screwed up so many worthwhile things of late.
NB - I had to put 'textile conservation centre' into the search on the homepage to find it, but the petition's there all right.
Magot

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:33 am
by gregory23b
Just remove one of the C from the link Annie, then it will go there.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:34 am
by Skevmeister
Been done and signed, not into soft stuff, but gets me mad that we keep closing important stuff down whilst speniodng millions on pointless quangos

Skev

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:40 am
by Lord High Everything Esle
Done.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:43 am
by Brother Ranulf
Signed up today.

There seems to be a worrying trend towards equating "history" with "forgotten" or "unimportant". This country has never made the most of the heritage we do have (not in the way that they do in France or Germany) and I for one believe we should fight to preserve our history at every opportunity.

Humble request - could this please be made a sticky, on an equal footing with the Sherwood Forest petition?

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:03 am
by Mr Dreadful
I've put my name down... having worked for English Heretics I know how crap the gubmint are when it comes to funding historical stuff.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:38 am
by seamsmistress
Grrrr!!! Done!

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:41 am
by m300572
Signed, but out of interst is this a nationally funded institution or part of Hampshire Museum Service - if the latter then a petition or lots of letters to Hants County Coucillors (particularly from County based members) will be more effective as the Govt can wash its hands by pointing out that its a local decision by the County Council.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:12 pm
by Merlon
Its part of Southampton University. Transfer from Hampton Court was done with a grant of nearly £1 million from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), grant ran from 2002 to 2007.........

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:41 pm
by Tuppence
Done, stupid f-ing idiots (those trying to shut it down).

Also about to sticky.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:19 pm
by Annie the Pedlar
I've removed one of the Cs.
I award the man in the pointy red hat the medal of nerdy working out what's wrong ness.
If it still doesn't work blame him. I just hang on his every word.
Annie, novice sychophant of the guilde of saynte luke
(Tudors can spell things how they want.)

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:18 pm
by rosenkavalier
I work at the TCC, so I'm very grateful to anyone who signs the petition. Fingers crossed...

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:36 pm
by guthrie
AAARGGHHH.
Its not exactly their centre to close in the first place. Do they have a rational for it?


Anyone got contact details at the university so we can bombard them with scarily well informed letters? Any scandals we can help bring to light? Anyone go any up to date figures on number of people taking the course and the internal politics of the university?

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:37 pm
by Phil the Grips
Yes- see Rosenkavalier above. He works there.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:33 pm
by guthrie
Well, I have absolutely zero faith in any kind of petition to change anyones minds unless it is to their political/ economic advantage to do so.

So that immediately suggests that the campaign has to become more active and political. Hence the neccessary information.
We also need to know their precise rational for closure, and whether or not other grants are available similar to the one that appears to have been funding it for the past few years. Also what other actions are being taken, so that people can back each other up and avoid duplication of effort.

Who has graduated and is now famous? Anyone got the ear of high up heritage people? Do the museums know that their source of trained textile conservators is about to go?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:53 pm
by James The Archer
I've signed and put a link on the Bucks' Board

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:59 pm
by rosenkavalier
We've now been issued with an official press release regarding the closure of the TCC, which I've attached below. Thanks again to everyone who's expressed support for the Centre.

Following a detailed review of the viability of the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), which has been part of the University of Southampton since June 1999, the University’s Council has decided, with profound regret, that the Centre will close in late 2009.

The decision to close the Centre, which is based at the University’s School of Art campus in Winchester, has not been taken lightly. It follows eight years of significant investment by the University, during which time the University has paid the majority of the cost of the Centre’s new purpose-built facilities on the School of Art campus, and contributed annually to meet the Centre’s budget shortfall. The University has concluded, with great reluctance, that the cross subsidy from other areas of academic endeavour can no longer be justified.

The TCC review followed a major restructuring of the academic programme at the School of Art, which was designed to meet increasing student demand for new courses in art and design, with a strong focus on commercial applications of art. This has been successfully achieved, with School of Art student numbers increasing, staff/student ratios among the best in the country, and the School on target to eliminate its financial loss.

The restructure at the School of Art resulted in the closure of the School's History of Art and Design Division, to which the TCC was linked academically, and as a consequence, the Centre ceased to be part of the School of Art earlier this year.

When the TCC joined the University the expectation was that it would become viable as an integral part of Winchester School of Art. However, this was not achieved. Efforts to find an external source of income for the TCC to bridge the funding gap have not yet succeeded. The University also sought to develop a new business plan within the University financial model which would create a viable long term future for the TCC.

Despite much work by the TCC and University staff, as well as the TCC Foundation (the Centre's supporting Trust), it has not proved possible to build a business plan within the context of the University of Southampton that would bring the TCC into balance/surplus, whilst still protecting the high quality of its work.

As part of the review, the University also investigated transferring the TCC to an alternative university. A number of the institutions approached in connection with the transfer option were most interested in taking on the TCC, but were unable to pursue this, due in large part to the need also to provide new or refurbished accommodation to fit the Centre's very specific professional needs.

The University fully acknowledges the international excellence of the TCC and its significant achievements before and since becoming part of the University. However, postgraduate conservation education is a resource-intensive activity. The conservation sector has been discussing this for some months, as conservation programmes elsewhere face similar pressures as the TCC. In order to raise awareness of this nationally significant issue and to seek some solutions, the University and the TCC Foundation are working together on an international summit on conservation education in the UK in the early part of 2008.

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:40 pm
by Ness
[quote="rosenkavalier"]

The University fully acknowledges the international excellence of the TCC and its significant achievements before and since becoming part of the University. However, postgraduate conservation education is a resource-intensive activity. The conservation sector has been discussing this for some months, as conservation programmes elsewhere face similar pressures as the TCC. In order to raise awareness of this nationally significant issue and to seek some solutions, the University and the TCC Foundation are working together on an international summit on conservation education in the UK in the early part of 2008.[/color][/quote]

I'm currently in the final year of my heritage conservation degree at the University of Derby. It was announced a few weeks ago that the course here is to be axed too. :( The university feels it is not cost-effective and instead offering extra places on petroleum studies.

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:39 pm
by James The Archer
It seems to me the only ones intrested in keeping our history are looked on as strange, and the belive that no money should be spent, even if it brings in money in from the tourests

Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:33 am
by Lady Wolfshead
For those seeking amunition to help fight the corner for textile conservation, you could highlight the recent conservation award given to Perth Museum and Art Gallery for the conservation of a 17th century doublet and the excellent educational opportunity it has provided.

For those who work at the Textile Conservation Centre and are looking at their future options, the Scottish Conservation Studio may be able to offer some valuable advice on setting up in business. The three conservators who formed the SCS were made redundant a few years ago because the organisation they were attached to could no longer afford the costs. In two years, they have created a highly successful business.

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:01 pm
by frances
A bit more about the collection of historic knitting at the University of Southampton from Linda Newington who is working on the collections cataloguing all the books, journals and paper archives (patterns, etc.).

The knitting collection belongs to the University of Southampton. The online 'Knitting Reference Library', is planned to be launched in July 2008. The Collection is open by appointment at the Winchester School of Art every Thursday during termtime. An exhibition of highlights opens at the Hartley Library, University of Southampton, on 28 April, 2008.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:50 pm
by Skevmeister
Unstickied

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:31 pm
by Kate Tiler
Moved to costume area too, so it survives for longer!

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:58 pm
by Colin Middleton
There's no point in history, it produces nothing and has no value. Remeber "Those who faile to learn the lessons of History are condemed to repeat them". As we can't be bothered to learn any history, it contributes nothing! :evil: I hate morons!

So when we close the 'internationally excellent' centre, what happens to all their sample, compost bin?

Obviously we owe nothing to the future and care nothing of the past.

I'm off to fume now...

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:59 pm
by Phil the Grips
Just a spot of thread necromancy as Rosenkavalier, who works there, has just let me know that the inevitable has occurred-

http://www.textileconservationcentre.so ... tion.shtml

So if you want to employ/retain a pet conservator and kit maker now is your chance.

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:19 am
by Attilla the Bun
There's going to be an item on this on "The World this Weekend" on Radio 4 at 1.00 pm - David Starkey, no less, defending the centre.
I heard a trailer, and it sounds as if he's going to have a good rant! Excellent.

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:04 pm
by GuyDeDinan
BBC online - http://tr.im/iPmM

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:41 pm
by robin wood
Here it is on iplayer here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... 9_04_2009/

and if you don't want to listen to 30 minutes of news drag the slider at the bottom to 24:10