1st Jul, 2022

Ex-Courthaulds textile workers sought for Herbert exhibition in Coventry

ONE of Coventry’s most significant employers is now being featured in a new exhibition – and former employees are being asked to get involved.

The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is reaching out to past Courtaulds Ltd employees to contribute to a new exhibition which will showcase a series of interviews from former workers.

The textiles manufacturer opened their first factory making artificial silk in the city in 1905, putting the city at the forefront of the global textiles industry.

The factories later produced Carbon Fibre used in sports, the aerospace and automotive industries and plastic products such as the helmets used by the British military.

The exhibition will include interviews from those who worked in the back office, on the production line, in the labs and canteens and will focus on their memories to remember this major part of Coventry history.

Courtaulds In Coventry will open on Friday, October 18 running until Sunday, January 19, 2020 and will display objects from the factories alongside the interviews. The display will form part of a larger exhibition, Radical Drawing, which showcases a collection of works by artists who have pushed the boundaries of what it means to draw.

The drawings will be taken from the collections of The Courtauld Gallery, the University of Warwick and the Herbert’s own collection, and includes works by George Romney, Camille Pissarro and Pablo Picasso.

Ruark Jon-Stevens, Marketing and Communications Manager at Culture Coventry, the trust that manages the Herbert, has expressed the city’s need to showcase this important part of its history.

He said: “Courtaulds Ltd was the world’s leading artificial fibre production company and the headquarters were in Coventry, making this a key aspect of the city’s industrial history.

“The factories in Coventry had a massive impact on the city, both socially through the lives of the thousands of workers and on the city as a whole, shaping it as a hub for textile production.

“We’re keen to involve previous employees in this project to hear stories from their time working at Courtaulds and to connect with the city’s history through the people who have experienced it.”

The project is a collaboration between the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and The Courtauld Gallery, London, through an ongoing partnership, and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Ruark added: “We’re proud to have such a strong partnership with the Courtauld Gallery.

They are extremely passionate about celebrating the company’s rich history in Coventry and giving back to a city which contributed to the creation of their collection, which is seen by over a million people each year. This exhibition is the perfect way to illustrate the importance of that history.”

To get involved and attend one of the two filming days on September 3 and 4 at the Herbert, email Thanh Sinden at thanh.sinden@gmail.com for more information.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - facebook.com/CovObserver to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Digital Advertising

Advertise on the Coventry Observer to boost your online presence.

Property Finder 24/7

Search for properties in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.