Welcome to the regular newsletter for The Amelia, keeping you up to date on our upcoming events and bringing you all the latest news and updates from the project.
The Amelia will bring together books, objects, documents, photographs, and visual art, housed in a vibrant and revitalised building. The building will be named after the suffragist and Tunbridge Wells resident Amelia Scott. Read on to find out the latest on our news and events or browse our website for more information about current services, and the services of our partners.
COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN – WE OPEN NEXT MONTH ON 28 APRIL!
To celebrate the opening, we have our first ever Literary Festival in Tunbridge Wells from Friday 29 April – Monday 2 May. We are thrilled to have some well-known names such as Jo Brand and David Baddiel headlining. With more writers being added all the time, there will be something for everyone, whatever your age or interest… so look out for more information on our website and pop the dates in your diary!
We also have an exciting After Dark programme being planned for those aged 18 and above, be that an escape room, a murder mystery tour, or cabaret nights to name a few (and occasionally some family activities like children’s torch-lit ghost stories).
The first event will be Hearts, Arts and Drag Queens on 6 May. The ticketed event starts at 8pm in the beautiful atrium hall – it’s an exciting, vibrant, and unconventional celebration of popular and flamboyant culture. Check our website for more details.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS LIBRARY TEMPORARY CLOSURE
Tunbridge Wells Library will temporarily close from Monday 14 March as it prepares to move to its exciting new home at The Amelia Scott.
The library, which is currently based at Royal Victoria Place, will reopen on 28 April, and will form part of the brand-new integrated service that will be The Amelia.
Whilst the library in Royal Tunbridge Wells is closed and the team is busy moving and getting the Amelia ready, customers can still access library services at any of their other libraries. The closest are Showfields Library and Southborough Library. You can also access library services online and customers can be reassured that nothing taken out from Tunbridge Wells Library in the run up to the closure will be due back until The Amelia Scott opens.
GET TO KNOW US – MEET SOME OF THE TEAM
Last month we introduced you to some of the fantastic staff who will be working in The Amelia. Read on to meet some more of the team:
I have worked in Tunbridge Wells Library District for the last 16 years. In that time I have enjoyed serving Tunbridge Wells District customers with a range of queries relating from books they would like to read, to help with IT, to questions in the reference library. As the town centre library reopens as The Amelia, I look forward to continuing this service and delivering other services in the new building.
I have been with TWBC now for 17 years and was part of the very first Gateway Team back in 2008. I am currently the Contact Centre Team Leader for TWBC based at Gateway and am very excited about our move over to The Amelia Scott building. I am really looking forward to seeing how all the different aspects of the Amelia delivery come together, and of course I can’t wait to get to know all my new colleagues. I am also looking forward to hearing what our residents think once we are open, I am hoping feedback will be positive, I’m sure it will be, you can’t help but be amazed by the design!!
I’m looking forward to seeing all our students and tutors filling up the Amelia Scott as well as offering more and more variety of courses to the community.
We’ll hear from more of the team in the next newsletter.
GET TO KNOW OUR OBJECTS
As we approach our opening date, as well as introducing you to some of our wonderful staff we wanted to share some of our most beloved objects too. This month we look at an intriguing piece from our Folk Art collection:
This fabric and watercolour picture entitled ‘The Goose Woman’ was designed by George Smart (1774-1846) around 1830. Smart was a local Tailor who lived in nearby Frant. He created unique artworks, such as this one, that are recognised today as hugely influential within the sphere of English Folk Art.
This picture depicts an old woman in a red cloak. It represents Elizabeth Horne, the pedlar of Tunbridge Wells, born in 1742. She is holding a basket of geese and a walking stick. Eridge Castle can be spotted in the background.
The Amelia holds a selection of Smart’s artworks, including ‘The Goose Woman’, ‘The Postman’ and ‘The Earth Stopper’.
CURATOR TALK PODCASTS
Enjoy The Amelia on the move with a selection of local history podcasts on the borough and its collections: theamelia.co.uk/learn/teacher-resources/curator-podcasts/
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
What makes Tunbridge Wells a unique place to live? The history? The combination of green spaces and urban centres? Or is it something else? The feedback you share today will become the foundation of the Council’s future plans!
Let us know what you think by taking part in our survey, or adding your ideas to the map of the borough: twbc.online/planningforthefuture
There are still opportunities to get involved with volunteering during these unusual times. Find out more on our website by visiting the volunteering page at www.theamelia.co.uk/get-involved/opportunities/
Visit Tunbridge Wells
Kent Adult Education
Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives
Online resources and entertainment from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, to help establish online sense of community across our borough and to help combat the social isolation and loneliness we can all feel sometimes. Visit https://twsocial.co.uk/
Find out more on their Facebook page.