Who we are
Trowbridge Museum has a varied and quirky collection of objects that tell the story of the town, it's people and the dominating industries of woollen cloth production, brewing, and food processing. We are in the final stages of a major refurbishment and expansion project of our building and galleries, that will give us space to display more of the fascinating, beautiful, unusual, and nostalgic items we hold and care for.
The museum's collection reflects a proud industrial town, that was once known for being busy, noisy and dirty. With magnificent examples of brilliant engineering, the rare vintage woollen cloth production machines, take centre stage. In contrast to this there are also delicate unexpected items, that tell us about the aspirations of people who once lived here, who celebrated personal style, glamour and beauty.
Your donation will help us to shine a spotlight on this side of Trowbridge life and to explore and share the stories of two exquisitely beaded 1920's Flapper Dresses from our collection.
The dress that means freedom!
When we think of the roaring 1920s our minds lindy hop back to glamour looks, cool cats and smoky jazz bars.
Nothing evokes this image more than the iconic flapper dress.
However, we think of these dresses as more than just a risqué fashion movement…
Following centuries of long clothing and living in a male dominated society, many women had their first taste of freedom following the first world war. Men were away fighting for the country and it was time for women to show their strength and resilience.
With the men returning, these women were not going to give their new sense of freedom and power up. They wanted their voices heard!
Inspired by the spirit of jazz, the younger generation felt free, they swapped the Foxtrot for the Charleston and ditched restrictive corsets for boxy, shorter dresses.
They were proving that their worth was more than a shapely figure.
Inspired by these women, we are looking to restore our fabulous flapper dresses to their former glory. Sharing them with you!
For us they symbolize a generation of strength, unity after the great war and the freedom enjoyed in Trowbridge.
What we need to do:
Both of the dresses we want to restore are in our Morrison collection. A collection from a local family (Bratton), and both are heavily beaded or sequined on silk. They are likely to have been worn at The Town Hall in Trowbridge, or the woolpack pub (formally Court Hall, now Mastershoe)
Silk is notorious for becoming fragile with age, and because of this, these dresses now cannot be lifted from the box without being caused further damage.
The repairs will be made by a professional textile conservator, and will provide the dresses with support and stability so they can be displayed in the future.
Help us to restore these wonderful creations back to their former glory for everyone to enjoy. We are very grateful for any donation you can make towards our project, thank you for supporting us.