THE SILK MILL
Saturday: 1-5pm – Open Make (open to general public)
Friday: Development Day
(Closed to general visitors) – a dedicated day used for workshops, development sessions and learning programmes for target audiences e.g. schools, community groups etc.
Building opens for specific programmed events and activities throughout the year but is closed at other times.
Bank Holidays: CLOSED
The 2016 ‘Project Lab’ phase builds on the most recent stage, which saw a community rebuilding programme ‘Re:Make the Museum’ engage local people in helping develop, design and build new displays, furniture and fittings for the ground floor ‘prototype’ Museum of Making between 2013-14. This collaborative project served to create an playful space for pilot programmes and workshops and display just some of the items from the museum’s vast collection. This space has been well used by local communities and businesses throughout 2015. During 2016 new ideas will be tried and tested to create the types of experiences visitors can expect in the completed Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making in 2020 and will engage local communities in helping pilot those ideas –ensuring the museum is ‘made with the makers of today’. These include developing new education programmes for schools and colleges as well as revealing new stories linked to the collections that will be displayed.
The current ground floor experience will be refreshed in the New Year to help accommodate these pilots – therefore the building will be closed to the public from Sunday 20 December 2015, reopening on Saturday 13 February 2016 when we’d like to welcome you back to find out more about the project, take part in our programmes and even get involved with the development of Derby Silk Mill – Museum of Making project.
is also the chance to take part in the 2016 edition of the What If? Machine on Saturday 13 February.
In the meantime, please take advantage of the opportunities to get involved in activities at our other two museum sites, the Museum & Art Gallery and Pickford’s House by checking out our ‘What’s On’ programme or by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
We have £2.5m match funding to secure to enable us to deliver the new Museum of Making. If you would like to support us by becoming a Founding Donor or Corporate Sponsor then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
You are welcome to download the executive summary document here (please be aware that this is a 6mb pdf document).
For more on the action research consultation for The Silk Mill project see the project Tumblr. You can also click on the Re:Make menu item to find out more about our co-production approach through 2013-15.
Early history of the Silk Mill
Originally built to house machines for twisting silk together to make threads, the Silk Mill has an exciting early history. The design of the machines was copied by John Lombe, during a period he spent in Italy, working within the Italian Silk Industry. This is possibly the first-ever example of industrial espionage!
These new huge, machines were capable of producing far greater quantities of silk than traditional spinsters who worked in their homes on spinning wheels. The new machines required large buildings and a considerable power source, and an undershot water wheel turned by a millstream on the west side of the new Silk Mill drove the massive spinning machines. Factory-scale silk spinning like this would become serious competition for the Italians.
This engine contains 26,586 Wheels, and 96,746 Movements, which work 73,726 yards of Silk – thread, every time the Waterwheel goes round, which is does three times in one minute
Daniel Defoe ‘ A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain ‘ 1742
Transitional Spaces are the places that we are beginning to use to show our previously stored collections.
Derby Museums have a collection that is wide ranging and varied. We hope that you find something to interest you.
The Mildand Railway Study Centre at the Silk Mill is the UK's largest pre-nationalisation railway archive.