Lawrence artefacts to be given to museum in Yorkshire

Valarie McHale at DH Lawrence Heritage Centre to turn on purple lights around the building to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, she is a sufferer. Pictured here is the building after the light switch on.
Valarie McHale at DH Lawrence Heritage Centre to turn on purple lights around the building to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, she is a sufferer. Pictured here is the building after the light switch on.

Artefacts from Eastwood’s DH Lawrence Heritage Centre are being given to a museum in Wakefield, and locals have branded the move ‘disgraceful’.

Following the closure of the heritage centre last year, Broxtowe Borough Council has decided to move some of its artefacts to the birthplace museum in Victoria Street and give the others to a museum in Yorkshire.

But locals in the town feel the artefacts belong here.

David Gibson said: “It’s a disgraceful decision.

“We should keep the heritage that we’ve got. We’ve not got a lot of heritage as it these days.

“Why can’t we have them go into the local council chambers? They could be on display in there.”

Elizabeth Henshaw said the artefacts belonged to the town.

“They should keep them here. They’re ours aren’t they?

“They’re not going to have the same meaning elsewhere,” she said.

But Eastwood Mayor David Townes said the council saw no problem with the decision.

“As long as the Birthpalce Museum has got everything that is required, I don’t see it as a problem.

“It’s good that a museum in Wakefield will be promoting Eastwood.”

Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero said she was going to write to the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council to ask him to reconsider.

“We don’t make enough of our links with our most famous son,” she said.

“We should be doing more to promote DH Lawrence in Eastwood because it can bring much needed cash into our community through tourism. The selling off of these items is wrong and I’ll be writing to the council leader to ask him to reconsider.”

Earlier this month the Advertiser ran a feature about making Eastwood more of a tourist attraction like Stratford Upon Avon, celebrating Lawrence, as Stratford celebrates Shakespeare.

But whilst people in the town want to hang on to the town’s heritage and encourage more tourism and footfall, they struggle see Eastwood as a mini Stratford.

Anthony Martin said the state of Eastwood’s roads were a ‘disgrace to Lawrence’s memory’.

“The Lawrence Blue Line Trail walk enables visitors from all over the world to walk and see scenes that are covered in his writings.

“But it also enables them to see the utter trashy pavements and potholed roads that are an absolute disgrace to his memory, and to the peopple of Eastwood.”

Tamsin O’Mahony said on facebook Eastwood could never be like Stratford because of the state that it is in, and said Lawrence himself would be ‘disgusted’.

“It couldn’t be like Stratford because the attitudes here and the state of the place make it an utter back water of a town. DH Lawrence would be disgusted,” she said.

A spokesperson at Broxtowe Borough Council said: “Following the closure of the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre in April 2016, the curatorial team at the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum have been involved in reviewing the items that were on display or in stores at the heritage centre, as part of their responsibility as an accredited museum.

“After lots of discussions and help from colleagues at other Midlands-based museums, a list of objects to stay has been drawn up, along with a list of items that the curatorial team will seek new homes for.

“The museum tells a very different story to the heritage centre and storage and display areas are limited. So, while recognising the cultural value in many of the objects, especially after looking after them for many years, the curators have made decisions on whether items can be better looked after elsewhere and serve the public better in an alternative museum.”

Tony Wardle, 75, Eastwood

“If they have got things here in Eastwood then it should stay here. If we want to encourage tourism and footfall into town then it needs to stay here.”

Pauline Biggs,72, Eastwood

“I don’t agree with that. It’s just going to get gradually worse and worse. There will be nothing here for tourists. I moved to Eastwood in 1979 and there was more made of Lawrence then than there is now. There were always tours, and there were always lots of foreigners here. I just feel people don’t do enough about it. They have got a goldmine here with DH Lawrence, and they don’t take advantage of it.
“When my family come down from Scotland they’re quite disappointed at the amount there is. I think more should be made of Victoria Street.”

Kyra Hughs, 40, Giltbrook

“The memorabilia should be here in Eastwood. Thats stuff belongs here and should not be taken out of the town.
“It would be nice to make Eastwood a more attractive tourist town but we’re going the wrong way about it.”

Lilly Watkinson, 64, Eastwood

“I think it should stay put in Eastwood somewhere. DH Lawrence used to live here and it was here he gathered his inspiration to write what he did.”

Lorraine Ruddy

“This is DH Lawrence’s birthplace so it shouild stay in his home town.
“I don’t think we get enough tourists to make Eastwood like Stratford. 15 years ago we used to get a lot of tourists doing the Blue Line trail, but we just don’t get as many people now.”

Dick Bailey, 75, Eastwood

“I really don’t care at all about them selling off the artefacts. Lawrence was just a dirty old man. I don’t really want to celebrate him as a writer.
“Eastwood is doing alright without Lawrence.”