Saving Red House Museum

For the benefit of people who are unfamiliar with this Museum, I will elucidate.

The Red House was built in 1660, by the Taylor family and is a Listed Building.  Among it’s famous visitors were Charlotte Bronte, and the preachers Charles and John Wesley.  Charlotte Bronte was a friend of Mary Taylor and the house appears as  ‘Briarmains’  in her novel ‘Shirley‘.

The house is currently furnished in the manner that it would have been at the time of the Brontes.  The lovely garden is in keeping with the style of the 19th century.

It is a museum, with exhibitions, and talks in the outbuildings.  These are often craft related, and a craft bee meets there monthly.  School parties make educational visits.  So it is a valuable award-winning asset to our area, and has 30,000 visitors a year, from all over the world.

So why am I writing about this today?  Because the Council , who are the present owners, have proposed that it be closed and sold as part of their cost-cutting requirements.

When I was at the Craft Bee last week we all made or feelings known, by submitting comment forms to the counil.  Letters have been written to the local newspaper, who are excellent at getting behind threats such as this.

We cannot lose this valuable resouce.  The council must be persuaded to make cuts elsewhere.

For now, I don’t know what else we can do.  Obviously I shall contribute to anything which might help the campaign.  Any comments, or news about efforts to pesuade the Council are most welcome.


Thanks to the comment below I can give you the link to an ipetition –


February 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Embroidery.


  1. opusanglicanum replied:

    sadly, councils rarely value museums as much as the council tax payers do. make a noise. generate an online petition – I’ll sign.

    you cant get lottery money for maintenance and running costs, but has anyone looked into special exhibions/renovations/community projects for which grants could be applied – its very hard for councils to pulll funding from somewhere thats getting lottery publicity. there are big grants, but your sewing group could look into what used to be called “awards for all” (not sure if its still called that – which is small grants for community based stuff

    • silkystitch replied:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I just checked how to do it. There is one already. the link is

      • opusanglicanum replied:

        done that then.

        seriously though, look into the lottery options. it can depend on where you are as some areas of the country are allocated more money than others (its harder to get a granat down south) but my local museum is in a far more secure postion since it got allocated major lottery funding for the saxon princess exhibition. bet all the council needs to do is reallocate some money from the councillors golfing fund, bastards

      • silkystitch replied:

        Hi Tanya,

        Last year I spent quite a bit of time looking at funding for one organisation, and am actively involved with a charity about to lose their funding soon. We went to a funding roadshow, organised by the council. It was very useful, and interesting how different funding ‘pots’ work. I’m sure someone will already be onto this for Red House, I suppose we would need money to pay salaries and running costs.

        But for the time being I need to keep my eye on the ball with the Charity. They have already lost an employee, who realised her job would probably have to go. We have had to divide her work among us. We may be in a position where we have to ask for clients to pay volunteers’ expenses, which would exclude some clients whose finances won’t stretch!


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