After much discussion over the last weeks and months, it is with regret that the MEDATS committee have come to the decision to postpone our 2020 Annual Conference, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Originally to have been held in London on 30 May 2020, this event is now planned for later in the year, and will take place on 17 October 2020.
Our concerns are for the health and wellbeing of our members and speakers, as well as the potential restrictions over the gathering of large groups for non-essential purposes which may still be in effect throughout the UK in May and June.
The conference, which was to centre on the theme of Textiles in the Home, would have featured a series of interesting papers on this subject, (some tasters shared below), and we hope that many of these excellent presenters will be able to join us in October instead. We also hope to bring our attendees some exciting contributions from additional speakers in the fields of experimental archaeology and textile/clothing reconstruction, which we have enjoyed celebrating at our recent Learning Through Reconstruction events. In so doing it is our wish that we may make this, our one major conference event for 2020, an enjoyable combination of approaches to the study of medieval clothing and textile history, reflecting the themes of both events and the interests of all our members.
It is our plan that the Learning Through Reconstruction event will be back next Autumn 2021, as well as our Annual Conference in Spring 2021, and we are currently making arrangements and plans for both. We look forward to seeing all who are able to attend next year, and hope that 2021 will bring easier and happier times for us all.
Further details about the 17 October 2020 conference, including an updated speakers list, will be released as soon as possible. We are grateful for all our members’ ongoing support and are looking forward to welcoming you all back in Autumn, and to an event which we hope will be just as rewarding and interesting as those we have enjoyed in previous years. We also encourage readers to visit our website and facebook page to keep up to date with the latest developments, and with one-another, during this difficult and sometimes isolating time.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all members, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Natalie Rachel Walker, (Programme secretary MEDATS)