Chard Museum: Research Visit

Caitlin Heffernan

My project working with Chard museum is an exciting opportunity to delve into the history of the town and respond to the collections of the museum. I work site-specifically and on a large scale, with a variety of soft sculpture materials and textile based installations.

I have been researching their collections and  in particular have been fascinated by the town’s past industrial heritage and links to textiles and clothing over the last century.


The museum holds part of the lace factory machinery which was from the  Holyrood Lace Mill based in Chard, where they produced different types of netting fabric. D7A70B4B-5228-446E-A326-3ED44C075905.JPG

I have been especially interested in researching women in industries connected to Chard. I made these discoveries on a research and development visit a couple of weeks ago and I also met some ladies who had grown up in Chard when I was based at the museum over a few days.


They used to work as hairdressers in the town and recalled how on a Friday evening all the factory workers would pile out and want their hair washed and set ready for the weekend. Often their hair was powdered with a graphite substance which would have come from the machinery.

I am gathering together lots of different sources to help me develop my installation.