September 2020 Newsletter


Amelia Logo and Tagline




Welcome to the regular newsletter for The Amelia, keeping you up to date on all our upcoming events and bringing you all the latest news and updates from the project.


Set to open in spring 2022, 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.







Construction work on The Amelia Scott site is progressing well and the team continues to work on programme despite social distancing challenges.


If you have walked past the site, you may have noticed that the team have started installing the steelwork for the infill to join the two buildings and falsework to the ground floor is being completed in preparation for the first-floor concrete slab.


Work inside the building is ongoing with high-level electrical and mechanical installations being fixed in the new Library and Adult Education building. The team has also been working on the internal plasterwork and waterproofing the library walls.


Outside of The Amelia Scott building, the team has been working on drainage connections and installing a manhole ring for incoming drainage to start.
The Amelia



GOOD NEWS! More Kent Library





More Kent libraries are set to reopen. These will be the first libraries to also offer a new socially distanced book browsing service for customers so they can select books from the shelves. Additional safety measures in each library will include hand sanitizer stations, one-way circulation routes through the building, use of the self-service machines, and face coverings being mandatory (unless exempt).


Cranbrook and Showfields libraries reopened on Tuesday 25 August, and Southborough library opened on Monday 7th September and will continue to offer the Select and Collect service.


The first 12 libraries that opened across Kent in July will continue to offer a Select and Collect service for the time being, with browsing likely to be introduced in the coming weeks. View the full list of available libraries, the services they offer and more information on the Select and Collect service.


Also, in September, Kent Libraries will also be relaunching the mobile library service and plan to open further libraries across Kent. Call 03000 41 31 31, check our website or @TunbridgewellsLibraries on Facebook for updates.


Local History - Research Surgeries







Wanting to discover your local area, explore your heritage, and search the records but not sure where to start?  Visit our What’s On page to book your free place at our Research Surgeries webinars.


Our Research Surgeries will be taking place on:
  • Wednesday 21 October 6pm – 7pm
  • Wednesday 18 November 6pm – 7pm
  • Wednesday 16 December 6pm – 7pm
An introduction to local history research is the first in a series of three Research Surgeries designed to introduce you to different aspects of local history research. In this webinar our Research Curator will discuss the sources and explain how to use them, how to decide on a topic, how to research your topic, and how you might like to share your research.


The webinars are free although booking is essential. Book your place now!









Kent Adult Education have opened selected Covid-19 secure centres for reduced hours. The following centres will run at a reduced capacity with limited courses, so please ensure you ask what is planned for your course when you enrol.


Open centres:
The centres have been remodelled and operate a new way of working to ensure the safety of staff and learners. Changes made to make centres Covid-19 secure, include:
  • The installation of sanitiser stations
  • New instructional signage, changed entry and exit to buildings
  • The closure of social areas and the management of routes around buildings
  • Classrooms have reduced capacity to maintain social distancing for learners and staff
  • The installation of screens where appropriate
  • The implementation of a track and trace system
For further details and information on safe learning, please read Guide for Learners – Learning Safely with Kent Adult Education.


Keep up to date with Kent Adult Education news as they respond the safety guidelines and government advice on their website and social media pages.


If you would prefer to participate from the comfort of your own home, please read the extensive list of online courses taught by experienced tutors.





The Friends AGM takes place via Zoom on the 1st October at 6pm. The meeting will include a short presentation from Matthew Hockley- Smith, the Chair of The Amelia Scott Cultural Trust.


In other news, The Friends have engaged with a textile conservator for the 18th century Gown, owned by the museum. Here are the details from the conservator:
“Over the next few months work will begin on the conservation of this beautiful 18th Century Sack Back gown, owned by the museum. The gown was donated by the Seymour Family and is dated to the 1750’s. The stunning silk brocade fabric from which it is made, includes silver gilt thread, and was woven in London, at Spitalfields. The silver lace trimming the front borders of the open robe and the stomacher would have added to the sparkle and shimmer reflected by candlelight.
As an accredited Textile Conservator, it will be my great privilege to undertake the conservation challenge of this piece, and one that I am very much looking forward to. I have worked in textile conservation for many years, starting my career at the Costume Department of the Museum of London. I now work independently, from my own studio and have treated an enormous variety of textiles ranging from historic costume to historic interiors and even modern art works.
My approach is to conserve, but not restore, using reversible conservation techniques. This gown is in amazing condition given its age, and despite having been worn as a carnival costume in the 1930’s! It underwent some conservation in the 1990’s, but is now in need of further treatment, to allow it to be mounted for display in the new galleries. I work from a fully equipped textile Conservation Studio and my aim is to reverse some of the former conservation, removing the adhesive coated, net support fabrics that were used at that time. I will also be padding the display figure and creating underpinnings and petticoats to produce the correct period silhouette.”


You can find more information on The Friends from their Facebook page.





Volunteering: 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
Kent Adult Education 
Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives:
TW Social: 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


Sponsors for The Amelia