Unfortunately we only had half an hour, so members had to forsake the little slice of heaven which is the Slattery Café, and make do with emptying the shelves of the amazing shop of its supplies of fantastic cream cakes, chocolate novelties, and cake decorating paraphernalia, not to mention the many foodie-type gifts. It was just as well we ordered the big coach!
A quick trip round the M60 took us to Platt Hall, the Costume Gallery of the Manchester Art Gallery. Housed in a grand 18th Century house in extensive parkland, it is home to an exquisite collection of clothing ranging from 17C to the present day.
A woman's bodice, and a close-up of the beautifully embroidered fabric
This is a child's jacket, embroidered and embellished with stump work.
Examples of fine cut work decorating bonnets and tunics
Some of the 17th century costumes on display
A pocket book with ribbon embroidery
The "spots" on this dress are made from beaten silver wire and are individually hand stitched onto the fabric, which was made in India
There is also an extensive collection of buttons at Platt Hall -
look how small those linen buttons are!
Examples of different kinds of Dorset buttons
The second cultural visit of the day was to The Whitworth, an award winning museum situated just up the road from Platt Hall. Feeling a bit peckish by now, many of us headed straight for the restaurant. Undaunted by the half hour wait for food, we enjoyed sitting in the glass-sided dining room, or on the patio, and enjoyed the surrounding wooded parkland and its many sculptures. The food was lovely too!
The museum, despite holding thousands of textile pieces, has a disappointingly small number of them on display, although there was plenty of thought-provoking artwork to keep us busy.
For a start, there was John Travolta!
Fabric of a kind - the beautifully sculpted robes of an effigy of
Eleanor of Aquitaine
"Bear Work Wear" by Brian Griffiths
And finally, an artwork that I expect we could all replicate!
The highlight of the return journey was a raffle for Kate Lycett's new book, "Lost Houses", which raised £55 for Overgate Hospice in memory of Halifax member Sheila Butterworth.