Fight to save Normandy lace school

Lace teacher Véronique Thomazo with Michelle Morgan and Sally Byrne at the Conservatoire de Dentelles Bayeux

A British woman has stepped in to try to save Bayeux’s only lace school from closing due to lack of funds.

The Conservatoire de Dentelles Bayeux was created in the 1980s with a school, a mini-museum and a shop, where tourists can watch students at work.

One of its two teachers retired in June and since then it has been revealed that, despite a €29,000 annual grant from the mairie, the Conservatoire has debts of €30,000 and is facing closure.

Retired British policewoman and psychology teacher Michelle Morgan, who lives near the Calvados town, has been learning lace-making at the Conservatoire and is keen to keep it open. “It would be a very sad day if the institution had to close,” she said.

Bayeux lace school work

“Lace-making has been taught in this region for hundreds of years. I have given lots of ideas to help with marketing, such as printing information sheets in English for the hundreds of tourists who come. I also set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding site and raised nearly €2,000 in the first month.

“The story was in the local press and on France3 television.

“Some French people have told me they are amazed that a British person is trying to save a part of French heritage.”

In June, the Conservatoire was given six months to raise the necessary funds to continue and Ms Morgan said: “We have to continue fighting.

“A French lady has opened a second crowdfunding site and fellow British lace-maker Sally Byrne and I will be organising a lunch.

“There are many ways it could be run better if it was given a second chance.”

For more details, visit gofundme.com/f/save-the-conservatoire-de-dentelle-bayeux .

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