Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, left, with Cherry Franklin and Danielle Smith, members of the Saumarez Conservation Group.
MEMBERS of Armidale’s Saumarez Homestead Conservation Group have begun the task of packing away their heritage garments in textile storage boxes which have been purchased with $1,780 grant from the NSW Government’s Volunteer Initiated Museums Small Grants Program.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall met with the Saumarez volunteer group yesterday to get a first-hand view of their work conserving the homestead’s historical garments.
“The importance of Saumarez Homestead and the conservation group’s efforts to preserve and celebrate the community’s history is enormous,” Mr Marshall said.
“The special storage boxes and acid-free tissue paper they have purchased with the funding will allow for the safe storage of many priceless heritage garments, some of which are close to 100 years old.
“It’s a great relief for the group to know these valuable pieces, which have been hanging in cupboards and stowed away in wooden storage boxes, will be properly preserved.
“When they last brought these garments out for an exhibition they noticed quite a few affected by mould so it’s so important they get them into these boxes and safely stored.
“The majority of the garments belonged to the females of the Wright family and many of the dresses were made by the ladies so they are of particular importance to the Saumarez collection.
“They’ve have 18 boxes to fill which will include dresses, petticoats and camisoles, gloves, capes, hats; it’s a wonderful collection and as a community we are incredibly lucky that we have so many dedicated volunteers working to maintain it.”
Conservation group member Cherry Franklin said they were thrilled to have received the grant and were very pleased they would now be able to store the garments safely.
“Once we’ve packed the clothes away in these boxes, many will be stored in the big linen closet which is where they used to keep their out-of-season clothes,” Ms Franklin said.
“We found a lot of these clothes jammed in wooden chests around the house so it’s a great relief for us to be able to store them in these boxes, ensuring they are well preserved.”
The Volunteer Initiated Museums Small Grants Program is an Arts NSW devolved funding program, administered by Museums and Galleries NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.