Monday, 7 May 2012

John Barran on Secret Lives blog

John Barran has already been covered on this blog with his machines speeding up the process of making uniforms and children's clothes. He's starring here again because of the information and illustrations provided on the Secret Lives blog. Sweet.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Peacock and Sons

Mary Mawson also stitched the image of Peacock's building. She asked the Peacock family if they would sponsor the pieces on the Textile panel and they were happy to do so.

When we had workshops or 'get togethers' at the Tapestry (first at Kate's home, then Armley Mills and latterly at Holy Trinity) the stitchers would happily talk about their jobs in the textile industry before the 1980s. Mary recalled that the Peacock family treated their employees very fairly. Before the advent of state pensions one man was kept on, well passed retirement,  to open the back door. She said that it wasn't really a job, but it gave that person not only a small income but also a purpose.

It's a real pity that we don't have recordings of some of the reminiscences shared while we sat and stitched. I think possibly that there are some videos taken by Antonia Lovelace, Curator of World Culture at Leeds Museums Service, but they were only shot during stitching together the last panel, Arts for All.

The piece was produced using the counted threadwork technique of blackwork and was charted by Hazel Rand.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Peacock's Shop

I've been challenged to find an embroidery on the Tapestry to link with the Exhibition currently on show at Temple Newsam. This bedstead for 18/9 (that's about 94 pence in "new money") hardly compares with the magnificent, newly reinstated,  Queen Anne State Bed but if you visit the present exhibition there are some more lowly servants beds displayed, with interpretation panels, around the House.

It's apparently National Bed Month and to celebrate this:

Bedtime Stories: Temple Newsam is celebrating National Bed Month by having a special talk every Wednesday
Weds, 28th March (11am to 12pm)
Come along and find out about historical beds and bedrooms with stories about the beds at Temple Newsam House, including the Queen Anne State bed.  Booking is recommended, contact (0113) 264 7321.

There doesn't seem to be much information on the web about the forthcoming events  of Temple Newsam's Bedfest but Textile Hunter has gleaned more about it than any other.

Back to the story of Peacock's. Founded in 1849, Peacock's shop was on the corner of the Headrow and Park Row until 1977, when it moved to its factory site at Kirkstall Bridge Mills. In 1981 the firm were taken over by Durastic Ltd.

Mary Mawson, who hand stitched this piece, was employed in the curtain workshop of the firm for 26 years.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Transport - Eades Reversible Car No. 58

This is from a photograph taken in about 1890 of the Eades Reversible Car No. 58 at Headingley terminus. Three of these trams were supplied to Leeds but were never popular due to the narrowness of the roads at the tram termini. At Chapeltown terminus the car overhung the pavement by over 5 feet when being turned and accidents were not uncommon. Seating was stated to be 18 inside and 20 outside upstairs.
Leeds Transport Historical Society has published several volumes on the subject.  Volume 1 written by J Soper covers the period 1830 to 1902 and is a must for anyone wanting to read further.

The embroidery was hand stitched by Eileen Wilson whose husband did a lot of the research for the Transport panel.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Community Spirit - Rob Bumby

A very short post today. Rob Bumby was also involved in Common Purpose.
He was also hand and machine stitched on printed fabric (Three and a half hours).

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Community Spirit - Jane Hustwitt

Jane was a participant in Common Purpose (see Wednesday's entry).

The embroidery was machine and hand stitched on printed fabric by Janet Taylor. The observant will realise that below the knees the piece is untouched. The lower legs are hidden on the Community Spirit panel and embroidering them, and other covered pieces would have made the final result too bulky.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Community Spirit - Common Purpose

Kate and I have just been interviewed by James, a student at Leeds Met, who is writing a piece about the Tapestry on the University web magazine. This reminded me that one of the factors which led to Kate instigating such a huge project was 'Common Purpose'

"Common Purpose is all about finding, encouraging and developing leaders: wherever they are and whatever they are currently doing. To encourage individuals to help to change and improve society (rather than waiting for others to take the lead always)."

A precursor of Mr Cameron's big society.

The embroidered logo is one of the few on the panels which was executed using a domestic computerised sewing machine.
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