New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

Social History

17/04/15 Talks at New Lanark # , , , , ,

Talking ‘Full Circle’ with Docey Lewis

Talking ‘Full Circle’ with Docey Lewis

We’re delighted to welcome to the New Lanark Blog, Docey Lewis – a direct descendant of Robert Owen. Ahead of her talk at New Lanark on Friday 24th April (£4 tickets available here) Docey has blogged for us with a taster of what she”ll be discussing…

What would Robert Owen have thought of corporate social responsibility, fair trade, employee-owned companies, carbon neutral product manufacturing, zero waste-to-landfill, LEED points and so many other modern business practices?

Imagine Robert Owen’s Facebook page or perhaps picture him debating Pope Francis or having a conversation with the Dalai Lama on YouTube. What would his Tweets say?

Would he oppose GMO foods, be a vegan, or demand organic cotton for his factories?

Would he be a champion of distance learning, work globally to educate women and girls? Would he be a pioneer on social, environmental and economic frontiers? Would he have found sympathetic investors through crowdfunding on Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Would his big ideas have spread virally, globally? What would his Ted Talk look like?

(Would Anne Caroline have enjoyed better health and accompanied Robert on his journeys?)

How much the world has changed since 1799 when Robert Owen arrived on the New Lanark scene. The technology revolution may have made the world seem a smaller place, but all our connectivity, productivity and mobility have exponentially multiplied the options for how and where to make one’s life and livelihood and how to spread one’s ideas.

Robert Owen’s impact on my life started in early childhood, when two of the books my grandmother read to me were Town of the Fearless and The Bekoning Road, both involving Robert Owen’s Utopian experiment in New Harmony, Indiana. I first visited New Harmony when I was ten years old, for the dedication of Philip Johnson’s Roofless Church. My first large weaving commission was in 1974 for the New Harmony Inn. I designed the wool yarn for and wove 60 bedspreads by hand on a wide fly shuttle loom. In 1967 my mother became active with the Cooperative League of the USA and until her death in 1983, traveled the world, lecturing on Robert Owen and the cooperative movement. She also wrote a book entitled Look to the Distaff which is a compilation of Owen family letters going back five generations. She wrote long letters to me about her numerous trips to New Lanark and New Harmony. And now, I find myself not only living in New Harmony, but making regular pilgrimages to New Lanark myself.

I’m so looking forward to sharing the story of “Full Circle,” the (mostly textile) design and development work being done in partnership with our international buyers and the producer groups we work closely with in the developing world. Robert Owen’s philosophy and big ideas have informed our work and continue to inspire us.

Full Circle Logo

Full Circle Logo

 

Docey Lewis – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Tickets for Docey’s talk at New Lanark on Friday 24th April are available to purchase by calling 01555 661345, emailing [email protected] or online.

Docey Lewis

Salleri Monastery School (Our program supports the meals for the boarding students)

Weavers@EAPFactory - The weavers are at our main woven wall covering factory in Kathmandu

Weavers @ EAPFactory – The weavers are at our main woven wall covering factory in Kathmandu

VocationalSchool- EAP (Everest Art Paper--our partner business in Nepal-- is in partnership with the World Food Programme and Himalayan Health and Environmental Services Solukhumbu (HESS) on running short term training programs

Vocational School- EAP (Everest Art Paper–our partner business in Nepal– is in partnership with the World Food Programme and Himalayan Health and Environmental Services Solukhumbu (HESS) on running short term training programs

HempYarnKnotters - Some of our cottage industry subcontractors for yarn preparation

Hemp Yarn Knotters – Some of our cottage industry subcontractors for yarn preparation

OwenLewis@vocationalschool - Training center in the mountains of Solukhumbu (Owen and I volunteer there 1-2 times per year); we design the curiculuum, teach, and then hire the trainees

Owen [email protected] – Training center in the mountains of Solukhumbu (Owen and I volunteer there 1-2 times per year); we design the curiculuum, teach, and then hire the trainees

0 likes no responses
23/01/15 Events at New Lanark , New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , , , , , , ,

A royal guest blog from Bonnie Prince Charlie…

A royal guest blog from Bonnie Prince Charlie…

Given at the Camp of HRH Charles Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales

It is with great pleasure that we received notice that, as of the 27th day of this month, the famous Prestonpans Tapestry will be on display for our subjects to view at New Lanark World Heritage Site.

This striking community artwork, stitched with tender care by countless volunteers across the country, follows the fortunes of our army on its first campaign in 1745, from the inception of this grand scheme for the Restoration of our family to that remarkable and game-changing victory at Prestonpans.

Bonnie Prince Charlie (Arran Johnston)We encourage all those who are able to visit and to enjoy this exhibition, which reveals the heroic efforts of our loyal Highland men, alongside the endeavours of our gallant if misguided opponents, as those two armies traversed the landscape of Scotland to determine who might be its King.

In the wake of our victory at Prestonpans, our army has been busily engaged in an attempt to bring this regrettable war to a glorious conclusion. How events will play out we can only at this stage imagine. What we can know is that our achievements in 1745 will ever be remembered, and that no telling of our story will rival the Prestonpans Tapestry for its detail and its charm. Never has a project so encapsulated the spirit of our quest: Victory, Hope, and Ambition!

To celebrate the Tapestry’s visit to New Lanark, we have authorised the deployment of some of our soldiers to said place on Saturday 21st February. They are instructed to answer any questions you might have as to their modes of dress and combat. I expect that our enemies might do the same.

We are pleased also to note that the historian Arran Johnston, who has not been unkind to our character in his works, will be presenting about the Battle at Prestonpans and the Tapestry’s creation on Friday 13th March. (tickets available to purchase for £4)

It remains only for us to encourage all our father’s subjects to notify their friends and family of this opportunity to view the Tapestry, which will remain in New Lanark until 19th March.

God Save the King.

Charles signature

Find out more about The Prestonpans Tapestry at  New Lanark. 

0 likes no responses
25/01/12 New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , ,

Video presentation by Prof. Chris Williams about Robert Owen

Professor Chris Williams, from Swansea University’s College of Arts and Humanities, speaks of his book, Robert Owen and His Legacy, co-authored with Professor Noel Thompson of Swansea University. Robert Owen (1771-1858), a radical thinker and humanitarian employer, made a major contribution to nineteenth-century social movements including co-operatives, trade unions and workers education. He was a pioneer of enlightened approaches to the education of children and an advocate of birth control. He established utopian communities in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and is often thought of as a leading early British socialist.
Short video presentation by Professor Chris Williams from Swansea University on the life and legacies of Robert Owen – click this link to view video.

0 likes no responses
13/10/11 New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , ,

Back to school in Utopia

Day 2 and a visit to the University of Southern Indiana. We started the day with a productive meeting with the University Senior Management team. It was wonderful to meet Dr Bennett and Mark Rozewski on their home soil after their visit to New Lanark earlier in the year. We were then given a tour of the campus by Missy Parkison, HNH Community Engagement Manager and Cady Tabeling, a wonderful student ambassador and intern at New Harmony. We were impressed by the modern campus and the amazing facilities on offer for students. It almost made us want to go back to our student days! We ventured into the student bookstore (to buy a USI Eagles hoodie for one unnamed but sports mad husband) and came across an amazing range of USI memorabilia, including a USI garden gnome!!!! Every home should have one!
During the afternoon we were treated to a tour of the Rice Library and archives by Jennifer Green, Reference and Archives Librarian. The archive contains the largest collection of communal studies material in the USA and some fantastic artefacts from the tri-state area. The library was purpose built in 2006 and offers students a wonderful setting in which to study (it even has its own Starbucks!)
This evening we were honoured to be invited to a reception hosted by the former Director of Historic New Harmony, James Sanders and his sister Doris at Hidden Acres Farm. This lovely evening provided us with the opportunity to meet some of New Harmony’s and USI’s staff, friends and benefactors. On a lighter note, they had the best chocolate brownies we have ever tasted and we are eating the leftovers as we are typing this post! We have had another amazing day and extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have helped make us feel so welcome. (We apologise for bringing the rain over with us!)

0 likes no responses
12/10/11 New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , ,

Welcome to Utopia!

Weeks of planning, 3 airports to pass through, 18 hours of flying and we have made it to New Harmony, Indiana! After spending Monday evening getting settled into our beautiful guest house, today, Tuesday, was our first full day in utopia. We began the day with a visit to the Richard Meier visitor centre, the Atheneum. This beautiful modernist building is a perfect example of how the future meets the past in New Harmony. We were then taken on a tour of the town by our fantastic guides Melissa and Marlene. Our tour included the Double Log Cabins, pre-Harmonist dwellings; the Lenz House, a typical Harmonist dwelling and the Granary, formerly the grain store for the town, then Richard Owen’s laboratory and now a beautifully restored function space. Look more closely at the photos of the Granary- all of the beams are held together with wooden pegs- no nails whatsoever were used. The Granary also contains seismic monitoring equipment stored below ground which is linked to a computer in the building. Scientific exploration now as in Owen’s time! We then visited Thrall’s Opera House. This was originally built as a dormitory, then converted into a theatre and was also a garage for many years. It has now been restored to its former Victorian Concert Hall grandeur.
Our afternoon was spent with Collections Manager Amanda and Collections Assistant Heather who gave us a tour of the amazing collections housed in New Harmony. We were lucky enough to see a huge mixture of artefacts, documents and photographs that track the rich history of the town. From thousands of print letters used in the towns print shop to ‘Dutch Biscuits’, a form of insulation brought by the Harmonists and consisting of wooden bars wrapped in straw and clay, the items are as diverse as the history of the town. We visited the collections store, the archives store, the 1830 Owen House where we saw amazing silhouettes and also Community House 2. Community House 2 was formerly a dormitory and is now undergoing a major redevelopment to become a visitor centre interpreting the history of the town.
The evening was spent with the New Harmony Interpreters Association, firstly at their meeting and then in the traditional post meeting venue of the Yellow Tavern! We have had a fantastic first day and everyone has been so welcoming. Another busy day tomorrow- stay posted! Jane & Aynsley

0 likes no responses

New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

We are always looking for guest bloggers to become involved with the blog. If you are interested in writing for us, please get in touch.

Join us online


Join our mailing list