Welwyn Garden City cocktail dress up for Herts object of the year

PUBLISHED: 17:27 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 02 September 2019

Cresta Cocktail Dress. Picture: HCC.

Cresta Cocktail Dress. Picture: HCC.

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A WGC cocktail dress is up for Hertfordshire's object of the year.

The Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOO

A Welwyn Garden City cocktail dress is up for Hertfordshire's object of the year.

The peach-coloured silk cocktail dress, which was handmade in the 1950s by Cresta Silks of Welwyn Garden City, is on display in Hatfield's Mill Green Museum.

The dress is embroidered with pearl shells and a floral design, and represents the history of the design fabric maker, Cresta, which made the curtains for the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon Avon and was known for its high-end designs.

Tom Heron, whose son Patrick Heron was a well-known artist, opened Cresta Silks factory on Broadwater Road in 1929.

The Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOO

In 1938 they moved to a site next to Howardsgate, and in 1954 the company moved again into Welwyn Stores - now John Lewis - until the company ceased trading in the 1970s.

Mill Green has several other textile pieces designed by Patrick Heron on display, including a scarf borrowed from Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance.

The silk evening wear is part of one of 11 objects, including a toilet roll from Letchworth, up for a Hertfordshire wide competition.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for education, libraries and localism, said: "The Awards for Excellence in Hertfordshire's museums are a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing work of staff and volunteers.

The Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOO

"It also gives museums and heritage organisations a chance to showcase the brilliant work they do, and make the public aware of the importance of museums.

"Whether it is a working mill, a signal box, specialist or local history museum, they all contribute a lot to their local communities, achieving high standards in their work with some nationally innovative practice.

"They contribute to the local community through education, enrichment and mental wellbeing initiatives, providing a sense of place and make a significant economic contribution to Hertfordshire's tourism industry."

The entry with the most votes will be presented with an award at the 2019 Hertfordshire Association of Museums Awards.

The Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Cresta exhibition at Mill Green Museum. Picture: DANNY LOO

To vote please go to hertfordshiremuseums.org.uk/object-of-the-year.aspx before October 31.

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