Sunday, 12 July 2015

Prachatice Bobbin Lace Museum

One memory of the 2015 season will be the visit I made with two ladies from the Textile Society of Great Britain to the Museum of Bobbin Lace in Prachatice. I have a photograph of the two of them engaged in deep conversation with the museum's curator. I will not post it here, because like me the ladies would prefer if photographs of themselves were not seen generally. But that doesn't matter, I have it and it reminds me of why I do this job of tour organizing. Let's face it I am not doing this for the money!

There are times when things go wrong on the best organized of tours or you don't click with the customer. But those times are the exception. And there are times, whether through design or accident, when everything works beyond expectation and it is all worthwhile. The visit to the Lace Museum was one such occasion. I had established that both ladies were interested, nay extremely knowledgeable, in lace, and I knew the museum from previous tours. But it was the personal chemistry between the curator and the ladies that was so lovely and unexpected.

He told them how the museum grew from a collection of his wife's. She had come from a long line of lace makers and when the revolution happened she had expressed a desire to create a museum to share her collection. Alas his wife died, but he was carrying on with the museum, one suspects partly as a way of keeping her alive in some way. Now here were two elderly ladies who not only shared his wife's passion, but were very knowledgeable. One of them was even active in a similar museum in the UK.

It wasn't all one way of course. My two ladies clearly got a lot from listening to him and viewing the collection. Dozens of photographs were taken – no doubt much better than my amateur efforts – and will almost certainly be used in talks to other textile lovers. I was delighted.

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