New Loom Gallery at Paisley Museum Opened in Honour of Former Mill Girl Ellen Farmer MBE.

A new gallery has been created in Paisley Museum housing the looms associated with the manufacturing of the Paisley Shawls. The Loom Gallery in Paisley Museum will be officially opened on Friday 28 March 2014, with the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Ellen Farmer MBE, founder of the Paisley Development Association, Old Paisley Society and a key driving force behind Sma’ Shot cottages and the Thread Mill Museum.

Paisley Museum has always given great importance to preserving and interpreting this unique textile heritage. The collection of shawls in the museum is regarded as one of the most important of its kind in the world. The Loom collection is part of the Paisley Shawl Collection cared for by Renfrewshire Arts & Museums Service, a recognised collection of National Significance to Scotland. This project has been undertaken with the support of Museums Galleries Scotland through the Recognition Fund. Recognition is a Scottish Government scheme managed by Museums Galleries Scotland.

In marking the opening of this new gallery with a dedication to his mother, Bobby Farmer states ‘When the family heard Paisley was going to do something to honour mum’s memory we were really pleased. But when we heard that the new Loom Gallery at Paisley Museum was going to be dedicated to her, we couldn’t have thought of anything more appropriate. We can’t thank enough everyone that was involved in making this happen’.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Cultural Policy Board said ‘Ellen Farmer was a remarkable woman who had Paisley in her heart.  She worked tirelessly to educate and inspire local people and visitors about the rich heritage of the town of Paisley.  Her work was recognised in 1997 when she was awarded the MBE.  It is therefore very fitting that we honour and recognise Ellen’s work by installing a plaque in her memory in the new Loom gallery at Paisley Museum.’