Members get going with IT training

Jean gets to grips with the Internet as she researches Stratford-upon-Avon ready for her trip

Jean gets to grips with the Internet as she researches Stratford-upon-Avon ready for her tripJean, Joyce, Maureen and Nadine got to grips with their mice, double clicks, jargon and internet shopping at Leeds Library this week as they took part in IT training especially for members of the Friends.

Organised by Leeds Museums in conjunction with Leeds Library Service, the first of two pilot sessions took place at Leeds Central Library and we welcomed four ladies who were both nervous and excited to get started.

For those of you out there who are anxious or feel that computers and the internet aren’t for you, ask them how it went and you might be surprised to find that you too, want to try your hand.  Jean, Joyce and Nadine all have computers at home but never switched them on as they felt they might break them.  By the end of the session they were dragging and dropping and clicking and pointing along with the best of them.  First time experiences included shopping for books on Amazon, booking cheap train tickets, researching trip destinations to London and Shakespeare’s stomping ground, Stratford-upon-Avon and finding a website to buy hard to find cast iron candlestick holders by a specific designer.

We will see what everyone remembers next week when we take a look at websites like this and Leodis, the photographic archive of Leeds.

Maybe this is something to ooffer to members again in the future, but in the meantime don’t forget that the Leeds Library Service offers free IT training that you can access from the Central Library or even your local branch.  Don’t be afraid to ask your librarian about what is on offer – everyone starts somewhere.  There is also a dedicated number to call for enquiries which is 0113 2476016 and the staff are all hugely helpful and approachable.

Family Events at Leeds Museums

Family Fun at Abbey House Museum

We support the work of Leeds Museums for all audiences, so for families over the next few months, here is a snapshot of what Leeds Museums has to offer you.

During March

SatARTday 3rd March, 10am to 3pm, Artspace @ Leeds Art Gallery
A fun workshop for families to explore new art ideas and ways of making.  Each event will introduce a new artwork.
Saturday 10 March, 2pm to 4pm, Abbey House: Abbey House Investigations
Grab a police helmet and squeeky truncheon and join our team of detectives to solve this week’s mystery object, history mystery or time tangle!
Saturday 17 March, 10am -12 noon, Leeds Museum Discovery Centre: Swan songs
Discover bygone objects and learn how changes inb social history brought about their extinction.
Sunday 18 March, 11am -12 noon and 1:30pm – 3:30pm: Frirndly Flowers
Make your own beautiful tissue paper flower bouquet for Mother’s Day. Give them to a special person who has been a Mum to you of keep them yourself!
During April
Tuesday 3 to Thurs 5 April, 11am to 3pm, Leeds City Museum: Make your own Historic Hats
Come along and have a go at making your own hat, you can make yourself look like a Pharaoh or design your own Easter bonnet.
Tuesday 10 April, 2pm, Thwaite Mills: Wash Day
Join Molly the washer woman as she does the weekly wash!
Saturday 21 April and Sunday 30 April, all day, Leeds Art Gallery
Creative activities to spark the imagination inspired by paintings by artist, Fiona Rae.
Saturday 28 April, 11am to 3pm, Leeds Art Gallery: Picture Lending Scheme
Join Leeds Art Gallery’s picture lending scheme and borrow artworks to take home for just £4 per month (minimum loan period 3 months). Select your pictures at the Gallery on Saturday 29 October. For more information visit:


Find out more about what’s going on across the Museums throughout the year on the Museums and Galleries website.



The Campaign Ends…

Cabachon Ring found in Leeds. Part of a hoard found in West Yorkshire © Trustees of the British Museum

Fundraising for the West Yorkshire Hoard is now closed. Sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed so far toward the acquisition of the fantastic West Yorkshire Hoard.  For a complete list of supporters, other than those who chose to remain anonymous, visit our page on supporters.

Keep your eye on this space to see the results of the campaign which will be publicised shortly.

You can still currently see the Hoard on display at Leeds City Museum and hopefully this is where it will stay.

Trust in the Headley Trust

The Headley Trust Logo
The Headley Trust Logo
The Headley Trust

A further £10,000 grant from The Headley Trust has been awarded toward the acquisition of The West Yorkshire Hoard, bringing the total raised to date to 165,633 and leaving  a shortfall of just £5,366.41. The Headley Trust is part of the The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts and helps provide funding for heritage projects and a lot more.   Read more about what the Headley Trust does on the The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts website.

There has been such a positive response to the appeal and supporters have been so generous in their giving and general support, however, there is still a shortfall (which is now very very small!) and all of the stops are being pulled out to reach £170,000 the Hoard has been valued at by experts at the British Museum.

Donations are still being accepted to the appeal as with this news, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have agreed to extend the loan of the Hoard until 15th December 2011 while the remaining money is raised. The Hoard will stay on display in Leeds City Museum until then.

Mary Holden Illingworth’s Dress

Front facing image of dress designed by Charles Frederick Worth for Mary Holden Illingworth © Leeds Museums and Galleries

We recently helped Leeds Museums to purchase, at auction, a collection of clothes worn my Mary Holden Illingworth.

Mary Holden Illingworth (1838 – 1908) was part of an important Yorkshire family and the daughter of a self made man, Isaac Holden (1807 – 1897). Her Father Isaac Holden was originally from Glasgow and came to Yorkshire where he made his fortune in the weaving industry. He successfully set up mills in Bradford and also in Paris, where the Holden family also resided for some time. Isaac Holden, having come from a humble background wanted the best for his children and this included a good education and also the best that money could buy, including clothes.

Mary had a great interest in fashion and this can be read in the diaries that she kept and also through the clothes that have survived. This can be seen in particular in the one of the dresses that the Friends helped us to purchase. In 1881 Mary’s eldest daughter was due to marry and for this occasion she chose to have a dress made by her favourite designer Charles Frederick Worth. Also know as the father of couture, Charles Frederick Worth was an Englishman who set up an extremely successful design house in Paris. His clients including many European royals and other women of great wealth and influence.


This dress was not Mary’s first Worth dress and later Mary was to recount to her granddaughter, Elsie, how ‘fittings were of dubious delight, as Monsieur Worth was of the habit of taking a cup of warm fresh blood straight from the local abattoir at 11am.’