The Arts Society Haslemere
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The Arts Society Heritage Volunteers help to conserve our British heritage, working as stewards and guides, helping with preventative conservation and in non-specialist but vital ways caring for both public and private collections. Without the help of Volunteers, some of these would undoubtedly deteriorate to such an extent that they could be lost forever. Basic training courses are given by professional conservators in a variety of fields.

The Arts Society Haslemere Heritage Volunteers have been involved with the Haslemere Educational Museum since 1999. During this time they have undertaken a variety of tasks, including sorting, maintaining and cataloguing the Fine Art collection, helping to conserve items, and cleaning and checking all the Library Books. The Volunteers have helped in packing and storing Collections, as well as researching and recording information on the computer Database. Members are also involved, as volunteers, in the Watts Gallery Artists' Village at Compton and at some local National Trust properties.

To find out more about Heritage Volunteering
please contact the Heritage Volunteer,
Mrs Anna Hawtree,

on 01428 605521 or by email:

No previous experience is required and any help you can give will be very welcome.

Projects are listed in chronological order, the most recent first.
To jump to specific projects, click on the relevant topic in the list below:
 Current project: Textile Conservation
 Ongoing projects: Tailor’s Dummy and Maintenance at the Museum
 Past HDFAS projects


Over the last sixteen months under the guidance of our textile expert Gill Rudman and Anna Hawtree (Heritage Representative), a group of Heritage Volunteers have completed the restoration of the Altar Frontal for St. Alban’s Church.

To celebrate the newly restored Altar Frontal, the Arts Society Haslemere set up an exhibition at St. Alban’s Church, Hindhead, from Thursday 20th June to Saturday 22nd 2019.  On the first morning of the exhibition, the finished work was presented to Revd. Richard Bodle and Jenny Brown, Church Warden, by the Mayor of Haslemere, Councillor John Robini

Organised by Anna Hawtree, the presentation took place at the church, refreshments being provided beforehand.  Present were some of the Heritage volunteers who spent many hours restoring the altar cloth, Gill Rudman, the textile expert, two members of the Arts Society West Surrey Area and members of the Arts Society Haslemere committee and the society's President, Roscelin Rees.

As well as Anna Hawtree and Gill Rudman, the Heritage Volunteers who did all the work were Iris Birch, Jean Hardwick, Rosemary Brodie, Jane Tyrrell-Evans, Celia Marshall and Sue Davies.

To see some photographs taken at the Presentation, CLICK HERE.

Below, sheet of sample photos of the type of stitching required to repair the cloth and a close up of one of the sections of the cloth before it was repaired.

St. Alban's Altar Frontal



In 2015 a donation of £250 was made to the Haslemere Educational Museum to fund the creation of a Tailor's Dummy to be used as part of the permanent ethnographic display.

The Museum holds an impressive non-western textile collection including various costumes which arel now displayed on the tailor's dummy. Costumes include a Japanese kimono, an Ethiopian dress, and Indian jacket, a Palestinian dress and a Chinese jacket. The HYPE team (Haslemere Young Peoples Exhibition team) help Kay Topping, Education Officer, to dress the dummy with costumes from the collection on a rotating basis. Below is information about the different displays that have taken place to date.


This summer the costume on the Tailor's Dummy is from Gaza in Palestine, dating from 1954. The navy cotton dress has hand embroidered cross-stitch patterns down the sides and across the front. The HYPE team chose this dress because of the detailed embroidery, particularly around the neck.
Palestinian costume

CHANGE OF COSTUME on the Tailor’s Dummy at the Museum: August 2016
Japanese Kimono
Left to right: Eliza Wilson (HYPE team member); Gabe Wilson (HYPE team member); Kay Topping, Education Officer.
A Japanese kimono has replaced the Indian over-robe on the tailor’s dummy presented by HDFAS to the ethnographic display. This year, Eliza and Gabe Wilson, two members of the HYPE team, dressed the dummy in a striking black kimono, taking care to extend one of the arms to show it off to great effect.

The first costume to be displayed in 2015 was a red cotton Indian over–robe – an outstanding example of hand stitching, with cream floss silk satin and herringbone stitches
Tailor's dummy  
Tailor's dummy dressed in Indian over-robe; detail of stitching.

The dummy was officially presented to the museum on 10th November 2015. Present were Sarah Barnes, HDFAS Chairman, Anna Hawtree, the Heritage Volunteer, and Alison Marston, the Vice Chairman and Programme Secretary. Representatives from the Museum, receiving the gift, were Julia Tanner, Curator, Lindsay Moreton, Collections Manager, and Kay Topping, Education Officer.
Presentation of Tailor's Dummy
From left to right: Julia Tanner, Lindsay Moreton, Kay Topping, Sarah Barnes, Alison Marston and Anna Hawtree.

CONSERVATION AND MAINTENANCE: on–going contribution by Volunteers

Three teams of Volunteers continue to help in the museum galleries by maintaining and polishing the display and glass cabinets on a regular basis. They carry out the work every other Monday throughout the year. The glass cabinet containing the Egyptian Mummies is usually the one that needs the most attention in order to remove sticky little finger prints. This project is in its twelfth year and will continue to be undertaken.
Heritage volunteers
Heritage Volunteers maintaining display cabinets in the Haslemere Educational Museum.
Reproduced courtesy of Haslemere Educational Museum.


A Volunteers' Tea Party was given to thank all HDFAS members who help out with conservation projects at the Haslemere Museum, stewarding  at Watts Gallery and local National Trust Properties, at lectures and study days, and who contribute to the furthering of our volunteering aims. The event took place at the Museum on Wednesday 19th July.

HDFAS Volunteers' Tea Party



Conservation of textiles at St. Christopher's Church, Haslemere

Following on from the restoration of the banner at St. Christopher's church, undertaken in 2006 (see below), two further projects were completed in December by members of Shalford DFAS. Judith West and Jane Woolley have painstakingly repaired the Mother's Union Banner and an embroidered stole. The latter was originally made in about 1905 in London for Lord Blythswood, Rector of Stockcross, and was given to Cmdr Reverend William Graves R.N. on the occasion of his ordination. The stole was donated to the church by his daughter in 2010.

Donation: Restoration of 5 paintings - The Infamous Murder of the Sailor at Hindhead

HDFAS donated £200 to the Haslemere Museum to go towards the restoration of a series of 5 paintings known as the Hindhead Murder Paintings. Previously privately owned, they were acquired at auction in 2009 and generously donated to the Museum by the Winter family.


Painted by a pub landlord named Pearson, in the late 1800s, the oil paintings tell the story of the meeting between an unknown sailor and three fellow sailors, in 1786, who agree to journey together over the desolate heights of Hindhead. The paintings depict the four men stopping for a drink at The Red Lion at Thursley, the murder of the unknown sailor by the other three, their capture at The Sun Inn in Rake and subsequent execution by hanging. A fifth scene is of three devils flying above what is assumed to be the Devil's Jumps, three conical shaped hills near Thursley. The pictures are of different sizes but framed as a set in the same type of frame.

Below is a close-up of the third in the series which features the moment when the three criminals are apprehended.
This photo was taken prior to renovation.

Hindhead Murder Painting

Copyright of Haslemere Educational Museum. Reproduced courtesy of Haslemere Educational Museum


In 2006, HDFAS donated funds to the Museum for the conservation of a christening robe and hat. A further donation of funds was made in 2007, to go towards the conservation of a painting of local interest by George Gordon Byron Cooper (see photograph on 2007 Gallery page).

A group of seven HDFAS Volunteers completed a textile project at St Christopher's Church in Haslemere. The St. Christopher Banner which was used for the first time at the Harvest Festival, in November 1905, was the gift of Mrs Thomas. It was designed by Miss Lily Bristow and has been repaired several times over the years. In 2006, under the guidance of the conservator Marilyn Leader, the banner was vacuumed,  tiny pieces of fine gauze were dyed to match and sewn over the crumbling silk and re-hung.

A short history about the work of the HDFAS Heritage Volunteers can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:
"Haslemere Heritage Volunteers 1992 - 2008: Volunteering in the Haslemere Museum"