A HISTORIC mill complex which houses one of the most substantial woven textile archives in the UK is hosting a year-long programme of speaking events.

The Sunny Bank Mills Museum and Archive is launching the programme, called Weaving Voices, following a £10,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Museum and Archive is an integral part of the award-winning Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Weaving Voices speakers Agnis Smallwood and Irene Froome in the Museum and Archive at Sunny Bank MillsWeaving Voices speakers Agnis Smallwood and Irene Froome in the Museum and Archive at Sunny Bank Mills (Image: Fiona Gell)

The Mills, which were originally built in 1829, have been in the Gaunt family for six generations and are currently owned and managed by cousins William and John.

The programme itself begins on Saturday, October 14, at 2pm, with a talk by the renowned Yorkshire weaver Agnis Smallwood in the Bobbin Room, adjacent to the Museum and Archive at Sunny Bank.

Agnis will explain how she uses the Archive as inspiration for her creativity, and she will also talk about her practice, her collaborations with Sunny Bank Mills and her passion for sharing her weaving knowledge with others.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sunny Bank Mills in FarsleySunny Bank Mills in Farsley (Image: Sunny Bank Mills)

The format will be a one-hour talk and walk around the Archive with Agnis as she makes connections between her work and objects within the Archive. There will also be a weaving demonstration.

For more information on the series of talks, click here.

Heritage director Rachel Moaby said: “This will be the perfect start to Weaving Voices, our year-long programme which will feature a variety of exciting speakers.

"All experts in their fields, they will look at specific elements of textile process and the Archive collection, helping to explain objects and their connection to Sunny Bank in new and exciting ways.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The archive at Sunny Bank MillsThe archive at Sunny Bank Mills (Image: Sunny Bank Mills)

“It is important to emphasise that these talks will not just highlight aspects of our precious Archive collection, but they will also illustrate how the collection is used both now and in the future.”

William Gaunt added: “Once again, we are delighted to be recognised by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

"This grant has allowed the Museum and Archive to promote a series of fascinating talks as well as continuing our vital task of making the Archive more accessible and enjoyable for the community of West Yorkshire and beyond.”

The Museum and Archive consists of fabric records - including more than 300 guard books containing thousands of textile cuttings; 60,000 lengths of fabric; 8,000 fabric designs; 5,000 wool dyeing recipe cards; 100 leather-bound ledgers and cash books; weaving looms; photographs and memorabilia and a library of mill-related books.