Tales from Taylor’s Workshop


Would you like to help uncover tales from Taylor’s Bellfoundry and have your research made available to the public online?

The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust seeks to build a volunteer research team to unearth stories connected with our collection, archive, buildings, and workforce.

Note that the deadline for applications to this programme is 31/01/2024

In December 2020, the Trust was awarded a substantial grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the project “Taylor’s: Saving the Last Major Bellfoundry in Britain,” which will involve the establishment of a brand-new museum and heritage experience. A series of events and activities will run alongside the building works, including a collaborative research project called “Tales from Taylor’s: Citizen Historians”.

The project
Starting in February 2024, this team of volunteers will learn how to record and document oral histories, photograph or scan artefacts or manuscripts, and curate and interpret objects in the digital environment. They will be invited to attend specialist training workshops, such as how to gather oral histories. From there, volunteers will be supported to choose their preferred lines of research: for example, by identifying and interviewing current or former employees to build an oral history database, or by choosing a selection of objects or documents to research and write about.

When will the workshops take place?
The first workshop will run at 10 am on Wednesday 7th February 2024. Future dates will be provided at a later date, but workshops will run for 2 hours on Wednesday mornings

Outside of the workshops, you will be able to conduct your research from home and you can come to the site on different days with permission from the museum staff. We will be looking to finalise and launch the outcome project in the summer of 2024. As spaces on the project are limited, please be aware that we will only accept applicants who can commit to the full programme.

Who can take part?
We are looking for up to 15 volunteers over the age of 18 years to take up this exciting opportunity. No former experience or expertise is required, just a passion for the subject and a willingness to learn! Note that all workshops are provided free of charge.

What will the project entail?
There will be multiple workshops where you can learn about researching historic artefacts, conducting oral history, and how to navigate our archives. You will select one or two objects or employees to inform your research. The way you present your research is up to you! We will discuss the varying ways in which you will be able to display your research for use.

Your research will be digitised into an online Taylor’s Archive that will be available for public consumption. The digitisation and online curation undertaken at this stage will inform plans to make the entirety of John Taylor & Co.’s archive available online in the future.

Where does it take place?
Workshops will either take place in the Old Laboratory activity space on the first floor of the Bellfoundry Museum on Cobden St or at Fearon Hall. We have had a brand new lift installed in the museum, and there is a stair lift at Fearon Hall.

How can I get involved?
To apply for a place on the project please follow this link to fill out a short application form:


The closing date for applications is Wednesday 31st January at 8 pm. We will get in touch with all applicants on Thursday 1st February to confirm whether or not we can offer you a place on the project.

If you experience any difficulties with this form, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please contact our Museum Director Chrissie Van Mierlo with any questions or queries at chrissie@belltrust.co.uk, or give our team a ring at 1509 638 500.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The event is finished.