How did Harrogate Choral Society ladies dress in the 1970s?

The 1970s Crimplene dress held in the Royal Pump Museums collection originally worn by a Harrogate Choral Society member that inspired poet Rommi Smith.
The 1970s Crimplene dress held in the Royal Pump Museums collection originally worn by a Harrogate Choral Society member that inspired poet Rommi Smith.

An original dress from the early 1970s worn by a member of the Harrogate Choral Society has inspired part of a new event at Harrogate’s Pump Room Museum for keen lovers of knitting.

The search is on for finger knitters to create new exhibits at Harrogate’s Pump Room Museum.

The museum is looking for people who can finger knit – or are willing to learn – to come along on this Saturday, November 26 and help create a new display as part of the museum’s contribution to the Yorkshire Year of the Textile.

As part of the event, there will be a workshop hosted by Elizabeth Gaston, a textile artist from the School of Design at the University of Leeds.

People can drop in at any point during the workshop, which runs from 10.30am to 1pm, and the afternoon performances are from 2.30pm to 3.15pm.

Following the workshop, poet Rommi Smith who was commissioned to create a new work to mark Harrogate’s celebrations of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, will perform her new work ‘Song of Crimplene, Sung in Kingfisher Blue’.

Rommi took as her inspiration a 1970s Crimplene dress worn by a member of the Harrogate Choral Society – and a group from the society will also be on hand on Saturday to perform a rousing rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

Meanwhile artist Charlotte Cullen has been busy making a ceramic installation on which to display the Harrogate Choral Society dress in the museum throughout December.

The Yorkshire Year of the Textile, initiated by the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds, is inspired by Yorkshire’s rich textile heritage and focuses on creativity, innovation and new research. Funded by Arts Council England, events are taking place all over Yorkshire aimed at all ages and open to everyone.

For more information about the Knit/Lit Workshop at the Royal Pump Room Museum on Crown Place in Harrogate, telephone 01423 556188 or e-mail museums@harrogate.gov.uk.

To find out more about the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, visit www.facebook.com/yorkshireyearofthetextile