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Australian Society of the

Lacemakers of Calais Inc.


Contact Us





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 application form.

Our 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.

The 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.

The 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 Tulle.

If you wish to join the Society refer to Join for further information.

The 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 Calais.

If you simply need to contact a relevant person in the Society, Contact Us is the page you need.


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