My little girl was fascinated by the collection of Ruskin lace which they had in special vertical drawers which you pulled out to view (so the lace was in the dark most of the time for preservation). It was all behind glass, so we couldn't touch it, but we could see the amazing detail. John Ruskin helped revive the Lake District lace making industry to help local people and the distinctive Ruskin lace is the result.
I was allowed to take photos (they had a photo licence for a £1) so long as no flash was used. I prefer not to use flash anyway, especially when glass is in the way, however my photos aren't that great.
There were also some model houses made of slate showing the workmanship and illustrating the local industry of slate quarrying, a model of the Steam Yacht Gondola (which is owned by the National Trust and takes passengers on Coniston water every day), and the actual yacht Amazon, which was the boat Mavis which inspired Arthur Ransome to write his famous adventures for children. We'd seen Amazon before at the (now closed) museum at Bowness on Windermere, and it was lovely to see it again.
The Donald Campbell gallery was a new addition since we had last been in Coniston 4 years ago and was a very poignant tribute to the man who gave his life to speed. It included a replica of his teddy Mister Whoppit who was with him on Bluebird during the fateful crash in 1967, and several models of Bluebird itself which was raised from the lake and is being restored.
The Ruskin museum is well worth a visit (or two) as there is so much to see and appreciate. So if you ever get to Coniston village be sure to go to the museum.
|A little porcelain doll in a knitted lace dress|
|Ruskin lace and an embroidered smock dress|
|Amazon (previously called Mavis)|
|Model of the Steam Yacht Gondola, the real yacht still takes passengers on the lake every day|
|Model slate house|
|My girl watches the video on how to do Ruskin lace|