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Putting the uniforms away

It is clear to everyone that the cost of energy is a challenge for those running many buildings. This includes the Thorney Society and our responsibility for the Thorney Museum. Humidity and temperature need to be carefully managed to protect our collection of items, and this is very difficult with the large areas of the Museum's display rooms.

Every year we put away the textile items in the collection - the military uniforms in the Thorney At War displays. This is to give them better environmental conditions for the winter months, and we take the opportunity to assess and record any damage to the materials. Able Seaman Jim Batterbee's naval uniform is now over a hundred years old, and has some moth damage, but we have checked that there is no further deterioration.

Miss Pywell's Red Cross headdress was also photographed as we wrapped it in acid-free tissue and put it away. You can see a tiny hole which has been pointed out by Jayne, our conservator. This looks to be a tray cloth converted for war work in the 1940s, with a beautifully-embroidered cross. The apron is bought and was made commercially, but Bessie Pywell seems to have made her red uniform dress herself. As the owner of the haberdashery shop in the village and sister to the local tailor she had the skills and the materials.

These uniforms have now joined our other ones in storage until we reopen next Easter when we will choose two uniforms to display again.

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