Welcome to the
Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais Inc. (ASLC) web site.
The original ASLC website was created by Craig Williams (Saywell
Family) and launched on 14 February 1999.This revised site has been
created by Richard Lander (Lander Family) and was launched on 5 February 2013.
The ASLC was formed in 1982 when a small group of people came to the
realisation that they shared a common interest in a special group of English
machine lacemakers. The Lacemakers in whom they shared an interest were
principally those originally from Nottingham and who were involved in two
mass migrations in the space of little more than a decade.
The Lacemakers' first migration was to escape the poverty, unemployment,
misery, disease and discomfort of overcrowded industrial Nottingham. Their
migration was to the shores of France - especially to Calais - where their
skills as lace artisans were initially treasured and where their employment
and well-being seemed assured. During the 1848 Revolution in France, the
political and social upheaval left most of them jobless again. Their future
in France seemed uncertain. Most decided that making a fresh life in a new
land was preferable to returning to England where it was likely they would
remain destitute and a burden on their Parishes. Their second migration was
to various parts of Australia.
Most of the Lacemaker emigrants sailed to Australian ports in one of
three sailing ships, viz. Agincourt (destination Sydney), Fairlie
(destination also Sydney) and Harpley (destination Adelaide). Other
Lacemaker emigrants followed in smaller groups on other vessels. These
included Andromache, Baboo, Bermondsey, Emperor,
General Hewitt, Harbinger, Navarino, Nelson,
Walmer Castle and possibly others.
Descendants of migrants
who came on any of the vessels mentioned above are encouraged to apply for
membership of the Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais Inc., refer
to Joining Us for more details and an
About page provides more information on who exactly were the lacemakers
of Calais. Photos of some of the lacemakers or the
family members who accompanied them can be found through this page.
History page explains why we exist as a Society and what we have
achieved as a Society over the past 30 years plus.
Meeting times, guest
speakers and information on our historic meeting place, Don Bank Museum, can
be discovered on the Meetings page.
Our lacemaker ancestors
all arrived in Australia aboard sailing ships in 1848 or 1849.
Ships provides more information on these vessels
and their passengers.
Publications page lists information about
the books published by the Society and about the
Contents and some
Major Articles which have appeared in our quarterly journal called
If you wish to join the
Society refer to Join for further information.
References webpage contains information on
books, websites and links to
other material which will prove valuable to
researchers interested in the machine lacemakers of both Nottingham and
If you simply need to
contact a relevant person in the Society, Contact
Us is the page you need.