Thursday 9 December 2021
5.3 C

Victorian ‘Life Swap’ at Ruddington Museum

A unique living history project at the Framework Knitters’ Museum

With lockdown back on and everyone’s plans cancelled, staff at the Framework Knitters’ Museum in Ruddington began to wonder what life must have been like without many of the things we take for granted.


How different would life be without Netflix, wi-fi, TV and smart phones…not to mention indoor toilet facilities and simple things like an electric kettle?!


To find out (and provide a bit of light relief for everyone), our Museum Manager and his family are moving into the museum’s 19th century Manager’s Cottage, and will live and work there as a ‘Victorian family’ over the weekend of 21st and 22nd November.

Victorian living room scaled

Join us as we step back in time

To help us gain the most from our experience, local schools have come up with questions they’d like us to answer about how life has changed over the last 150 years. You can join us and keep track of what we discover by following the Museum’s pages on Facebook and Instagram, where we’ll be posting our insights and photos of life in the cottage (the only time we’ll be using our smartphones!).


Jim Grevatte, Museum Manager commented: ‘With our ambitious redevelopment project, A Right Good Yarn (see below) now underway, one of our main tasks is to reconstruct the knitters’ cottages and understand just what their lives were like. And what better way to find out than to live how they lived in the very same building? It’ll certainly help us give our visitors a unique insight into the social history of our museum site when we reopen after lockdown.’


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Book your own ‘Victorian Christmas’ at the museum

We’re hoping that if/when lockdown restrictions are lifted in early December, we can welcome families for a very special Christmas experience in the very same cottage that Jim and his family will have lived in. We’ll be offering evenings where families can prepare for Christmas the Victorian way – making simple knitted presents and wrapping gifts, whilst enjoying crumpets toasted on the range.


These bookings will be exclusive to one family/support bubble at a time to enable social distancing, and staff and volunteers will naturally be following all the latest rules and restrictions around Covid-19.


About A Right Good Yarn

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the FCC Communities Foundation, A Right Good Yarn will see a major transformation of the museum, with a new shop, cafe and refreshed visitor experience. This will include a tour around the back-to-back home of a framework knitting family who lived at the site in Victorian times.


The first phase of the redevelopment project has seen staff and volunteers stripping back changes made to the cottage over the years, revealing the hidden layers of occupation. This process has already told us a great deal about what it meant to be a framework knitter in the 19th century. Fascinating finds include fragments of clothing and personal effects behind fireplaces and under the floors – we’ve even discovered what colour each successive family painted their home!


To find out more about our progress with A Right Good Yarn and for the latest news on our Christmas activities, please keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages. You can also visit our website at