Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum is delighted that a collection of Shaldon handmade lace more than 100 years old has been acquired with the help of Richard Younger-Ross, who alerted Curator Lin Watson to the sale.

The purchase was made possible with donations from Mr Younger-Ross, Cllr David Cox (Teignbridge Community Fund) and Shaldon Parish Council.

The museum has also used funds from the recent bequest of Mrs Baker’s paintings.

The lace is displayed in a frame showing intricate designs of St George and the Dragon and an angel, surrounded by delicate motifs of butterflies and birds.

In addition there is correspondence between Miss Flora Lancaster Lucas and Queen Mary’s London dressmaker, Reville & Rossiter, and a lady-in-waiting at Windsor Castle.

Miss Flora Lancaster Lucas lived for a while at Southwood Lodge on the Green at Shaldon.

Her father had been Lord Mayor of London and her family was well-to-do.

She founded Shaldon Lace School in about 1905 at premises on the Green and later the Strand.

She set up the school to give employment to experienced handmade lacemakers and for them to pass on their skills to young girls in Shaldon.

They paid two pence a week for lessons in pillow lacemaking after school.

Miss L Lucas used her contacts with local and visiting gentry to obtain many commissions.

The school produced lace collars and edging for dresses, fans and handkerchiefs.

Lace from the school won prizes at the White City Exhibition in London in 1909 and achieved fame when Queen Mary commissioned a lace collar or ‘tucker’ for her Coronation robe in 1911.

However, as the correspondence shows, offence was taken by the Queen’s dressmakers because the school was described in newspapers as ‘Suppliers of fine lace to the Queen’.

The disagreement subsided and later Princess Marie Louise ordered a similar tucker for herself.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Miss Lucas took over the Boy Scout Group and the school closed. Lacemaking had ceased to be profitable.

The lace collection will be on show for visitors in the museum by the summer after some conservation work to preserve its fragile beauty.

ABOVE RIGHT: Cllr David Cox and Richard Younger-Ross present the Shaldon lace to museum curator Lin Watson

RIGHT: Shaldon Lace School in about 1912, with Mrs French, Miss Lancaster Lucas and Mrs Ellen Withey (in centre L. to R.) Children in back row: Win Green, Kate Stead, Gwen Johnson. Other children: Connie Extence, Flossey Parker, Ethel P, Cecil Finson, Marjorie Finson, Dorothy Hutchings, Dorah March.

Teign Heritage Centre