Monday, 28 June 2010

Sports for All - Chapel Allerton Tennis & Squash Club

I wonder if 'the service' embroidered here is another of Robin's cigarette cards?

Chapel Allerton Lawn Tennis Club was formed in 1880 with 17 male members. The club had 5 grass courts and a wooden pavilion. By 1927 the club was the northern venue for the Wimbledon qualifying event. Since then further courts have been added, totalling sixteen, of which 3 are indoor and three have floodlights.

In 1960 the club purchased a wooden squash court from Huddersfield LTC and due to the popularity of the sport the club changed its name to Chapel Allerton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club in 1963. The club now boast 6 courts of which three are glass backed.

In 1986 a gymnasium was added to the facilities and this area of the club now provides a wide range of equipment not just for the racket players but its own fitness members.

Joyce Fulton (now Howden) and Michael Hann, club members in the 1950s both played at Wimbledon. We have a connection.

The piece was hand stitched by Maureen Carr

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sports for All - Mrs Moody (1905-1998)

You're quite right, Mrs Moody has no connection with Leeds. Born in California, she was Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champion eight times in the 1920s and 1930s.

She appears on Leeds Tapestry courtesy of Robin Dove's collection of cigarette cards, giving an example of an action shot in tennis. Have any famous tennis players come from Leeds?

She appears on the blog today as a reminder that even though we may think its all over today (World Cup - hope I may have to eat my words) there's still a week of Wimbledon left.

Carol Marshall made this piece in wool on canvas. It looks as if it's petit point or tent stitch, though it's so neat it could be cross stitch.

What's in a name
Pamela Clabburn's definitions -

gros point: "Cross stitch. However, the term is often misapplied to canvas work done with a large tent stitch, and sometimes is even used for the whole piece of work, as 'my gros point'."

tent stitch: "canvas stitch, continental stitch, cushion stitch, half cross stitch, needlepoint stitch, petit point. Can be worked horizontally or diagonally (basket weave stitch in America)."

So, there we are.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Third White Cloth Hall

So, it was from somewhere near this building that Lunardi set off in his balloon in 1786 (just behind the Corn Exchange now, though that wasn't built until the 1860s).

In the 1770s the Third White (undyed) Cloth Hall was built in the Calls. This was a single storey building with Assembly Rooms incorporated over the northern end at a cost of £2500. The bulk of the trade occurred on Tuesdays and Saturdays and one third of all woollen cloth exported from England was handled by Leeds merchants amounting to £1,500,00 a year at a time when a worker’s cottage cost £40 to £50.

The First White Cloth Hall opened in Kirkgate in 1711 as a response to a new hall in Wakefield threatening to take Leeds trade. Before this cloth, woven at home, was sold twice weekly at an open market in Lower Briggate. Facilities included storerooms for individual townships and hamlets, including Bradford, Batley and Heckmondwike. Trade continued to expand at such a pace that a new White Cloth Hall was needed by 1756 and a third erected in 1776.

The Second White Cloth Hall had a life of only 20 years and was demolished in 1786, the only surviving piece is the cupola which was added to the third hall.

By the time the railway arrived the building was obviously not as important and was sliced to make way for the line in the 1860s. The First Hall, though much altered still survives today.

Was there a Fourth Hall near the Mixed Cloth Hall and the cupola from which of these two now adorns the Hotel Metropole? More research needed......

Consulted "The Illustrated History of Leeds". There was indeed a Fourth White Cloth Hall (1868-1895) on the site now occupied by the Hotel Metropole and it is that cupola on top of the hotel.

This printed fabric was hand stitched by Merel Jackson (11 hours)

Friday, 25 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Lunardi's Balloon

Vincenzi Lunardi (secretary to the Italian ambassador in London) was Britain’s first aeronaut and made a balloon ascent on 4 December 1786 from the area of the White Cloth Hall and descended forty minutes later at Thorpe Arch. Lunardi’s first flight was from London to Standon in Hertfordshire on 12 September 1784, using a hydrogen filled ballooon.

Browsing through Amabel Yorke's diaries of the period I found these entries:

September 16th 1784
"A Mr Lunardi went up in an air-balloon from London on Wednesday; we just saw the Balloon as a speck from hence. We hear that he descended near Ware in about three hours. Mr Cambridge was also here, and he told us that his son George had follow'd Mr Lunardi's Air Balloon last Wednesday and came up just as he was descending in a field near Ware and disengaging his tackle. The accounts in the papers of the cold he felt are exaggerated; the Thermometer was three degrees below the Freezing Point & it is true that a few icicles hung to his sleeve. The dog he carried came down safe, & he descended almost to the ground near Enfield to give out his cat who was ill, then rose again by flinging out a sand-bag carried for Ballast."

September 25th 1784
"Air balloons are all the talk now and another is to go up with two gentleman from Ld Foley's Garden near Portland Place."

October 1st, 1784
"NB a Balloon intended to go up by Fire/ in Montgolfier's Manner/ from Ld Foley's garden under the care of Mr Sheldon a surgeon has been after some disappointment at last totally consumed in attempting to fill it."

October 8th 1784
"Blanchard said he used oars to guide his balloon. Lunardi had also Oars & Wings but they were of no use to him, or at most a very little descending."

An insight into the world before aircraft.

Hand stitched by Joan Holah in 30 hours.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Burton's No. 5

Is this an illustration of the sort of suit which included shirt and underwear and was possibly the origin of the "full monty"?

Burton's shops are still operating and are now part of the Arcadia Group. One of their factories is still in Burmantofts but serves now as a warehouse.

Hand stitched on fabric fed through a domestic printer, by Audrey Pigeon.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

On the Move - Burton's Van

When the panels were first on display, at Harewood and then at the Royal Armouries, there was a rota of volunteers willing to steward the Tapestry and talk to visitors about the pieces. Some of the anecdotes from this time were recorded and Brian Jackson was particularly good about this.

"My attention was drawn to an elderly gentleman who was looking at the Transport panel. He appeared to be having some difficulty with his glasses. I could see that he was particularly interested in Burtons and when asked he replied "it used to be my firm", by which I understood him to mean that he had been employed by the company.
I informed him that there was another Burton's item on the Textile panel and offered to show it to him. With some difficulty, he was walking with two sticks, we went to the panel where I pointed out the montage including Montague Burton, the man. Again with some difficulty he adjusted his glassed and looked very closely at the piece. Then to my utter astonishment he turned to me and said "that is my father".
I then had a long conversation with him and at my request he signed the visitors book, Raymond Burton."

(written by Brian Jackson 3/11/03)

There are still volunteers willing to provide guided tours at the Tapestry's permanent home in the Central Library in Leeds. Please contact me if you would like to bring a group to see the panels. Any of the volunteers reading this? Remember that a group still meet in the Tiled Hall on the last Friday of each month, the more the merrier.

Barbara Gray embroidered the piece on printed fabric (6 hours).

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Burton Montage

Now then, what is the link between Frank Parkinson (see yesterday's post) and Montague Burton?

They both owned, at one time or another, the fabulous Art Deco Charters near Ascot and there I was, thinking they made their money in the north and stayed here.

Montague Burton (1885-1952) was a Jewish refugee from Lithuania who became 'king' of the Leeds mass production bespoke tailoring industry. In the second World War his factories supplied a quarter of all uniforms for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The importance of this industry to female employment was enormous and the tailoresses became the nationwide stereotype for all female workers of Leeds. His factory was designed with staff welfare uppermost, including dentistry, chiropody, optical treatment and his staff benefitted from sickness benefit and a pension scheme.

A comprehensive biography of Mr Burton can be found here.

The piece was printed on fabric and hand stitched by Betty Laycock (24 hours)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Education - the Parkinson Building

The last of Thursday's photographs, the Clothworker's Court arch is just to the left and in the distance is the Parkinson building clock tower. A completely different style of architecture from the second phase of the expansion of the University.

In 1936 The Brotherton Library was opened, but with no real street presence; it was always intended to be set behind a central arts and administration block. Frank Parkinson offered £200,000 for the construction of this building named after him.

Faced in Portland stone it was designed in the distinctive Greek Revival style of Thomas Lodge and was officially opened by Princess Mary in 1951.

A very large piece of machine embroidery undertaken by Janet Taylor and completed in 24 hours (I don't think this was a single marathon effort though)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - School of Textile Industries

I've found an interactive map of the University of Leeds campus and it seems that the buildings of the Clothworker's Court are no longer devoted entirely to textiles.

While the Tapestry was being designed and made, the School of Textile Industries still existed and images were supplied by Professor Johnson and one of his students Emma Lickfield.

Now some of the disciplines are within the School of Design and there is still a Department of Colour Chemistry. This presumably reflects the loss of textiles industries in West Yorkshire.

The first professors of the School of Textile Industries began to collect samples of fabrics back in the nineteenth century and the collection has been added to ever since. Now this resource has been given its own home in the old Grammar School chapel on the campus and is open to the public. A dedicated textile museum in Leeds, Ulita, now nominated for 'the forgotten ones'.

The embroidery was hand stitched and appliqued by Jan Brown (100 hrs).

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Education - Clothworker's Arms, Crest and Supporters

I'm never very sure about describing coats of arms so have borrowed this description from the Clothworker's Company website. The site also describes the difference between the coat of arms and the crest and supporters, so we now know that the arms alone are on the arch above the entry to the court in yesterday's photographs.

The Clothworkers' arms were granted in 1530 by Thomas Benolt, Clarenceux King of Arms, two years after the foundation of the Company. They may be described as follows: sable a chevron ermine in chief two havettes argent and in base a teasel cob or (a black shield with an ermine fur chevron between two silver habicks above and a golden teasel head beneath). The silver habicks and the golden teasel represent essential tools for the clothworkers' craft, the finishing of woven woollen cloth. The habicks were the hooks used to attach the fabric to the forms on which it was stretched for teaselling. The teasels were used to raise the nap of the fabric prior to shearing.
The crest and supporters were granted in 1587 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms. They may be described as follows: crest - on a wreath argent and sable a mount vert, thereon a ram stantant or; mantling - sable doubled argent; supporters - on either side a griffin or pellety (the shield is surmounted by a helmet topped with a golden ram standing on a green hillock with a base of black and silver and draped with black mantling lined with silver. It is supported on either side by golden griffins with spots). The golden ram echoes the ideas of sheep supplying wool and so the ultimate source of the Company's wealth, the Golden Fleece of Greek mythology and perhaps a mild pun on the word 'ram' and the French word 'rame', meaning a clothworker's tenter frame. The mantling is in the Company's heraldic colours, black and white (or silver). The griffins, half eagle and half lion, are associated with the guardianship of treasure and the enactment of good deeds.

The Company's motto, 'My Trust is in God Alone' was adopted at an uncertain, though early, date. It is apparently not taken from the Bible, but expresses a common sentiment at the time of adoption (for example the anthem 'O Lord, in Thee is all my trust', ascribed to Thomas Tallis, popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries).

While the Tapestry was being made, Kate organised a series of professional embroiderers to run workshops and talks for the volunteers. Jane Dew came to speak about the Leek Embroideries, ran several workshops and agreed to work this coat of arms in goldwork. At the moment she seems to be helping other volunteers with work at Staircase House, Stockport.

The arms with crest and supporters on the wall of the Clothworker's Court, an awkward angle but there were skips and workmen in the way.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Education - Clothworker's Court

The craft of the Clothworker was the 'finishing' of woven cloth. The fuller's part was to cleanse and thicken the cloth when it came from the weaver including removing loose particles and raising the nap using teasel. The shearman then 'set' the cloth, cutting off the roughened fibres with broad shears.

I was over in Headingley yesterday so thought I would go to find the teasel on the building. In the first picture it's obscured by the arch, but it's a sunny picture of the Clothworker's Court from more or less the same angle as the representation on the Education panel.

Below are the three gables in the court, with what looks like an indigo plant on the left, teasel in the centre and madder root on the right.

There are other indicators on the building about its origins, including the Civic Trust plaque

and a wonderful plaque on the 1910 extension showing the size of the donation given by the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Education - Clothworker's Court

One of the oldest of the University of Leeds, this is the building with the teasel in the previous post and is grade II listed.

Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, it was completed in 1879 and financed by the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers for the City of London, who were anxious to improve the scientific basis of their industry in this country after visiting the Paris International Exhibition of 1867.

The Clothworker's supported setting up the Yorkshire College of Science, which became simply the Yorkshire College when other subjects for study were added. University status was granted by Royal Charter in 1904.

Myra Turner embroidered this on printed fabric (8 hours).

For those who are not male and members of the Church of England and who want to know more about the history of their further education in this country read on..

In 1831, the Leeds School of Medicine was set up, serving the needs of the five medical institutions that had sprung up in the city. Then in 1874, the School was joined by the Yorkshire College of Science, intended to provide education for the children of middle-class industrialists and merchants. Financial support from local industry was crucial (there is a Clothworkers' Court at the University to this day).

The College of Science was modelled on Owens College, Manchester, established in 1851 as a non-sectarian alternative to Oxford and Cambridge, where religious tests were applied and those outside the Church of England were not allowed to receive degrees or were barred from entry outright. Owens College, like the earlier University College London, applied no such tests and was open to Protestant Dissenters, Catholics and Jews.

While religious tests for students at Oxford and Cambridge ceased in the 1850s, northern colleges continued to promote themselves as offering a distinct type of teaching. They took pride in the progressive and pragmatic nature of their scientific education; a field in which the ancient universities, with their focus on general and classical study, were felt to lag behind.

The Yorkshire College of Science began by teaching experimental physics, mathematics, geology, mining, chemistry and biology, and soon became well known as an international centre for the study of engineering and textile technology. When classics, modern literature and history went on offer a few years later, the Yorkshire College of Science became the Yorkshire College. In 1887, the College merged with the Leeds School of Medicine.

Leeds was given its first university in 1887 when the Yorkshire College joined the federal Victoria University on 3 November: the Victoria University had been established by royal charter in 1880; Owens College being at first the only member college. [23] Leeds now found itself in an educational union with close social cousins from Manchester and Liverpool.

Unlike Owens College, the Leeds section of the Victoria University had never barred women from its courses. However, it was not until special facilities were provided at the Day Training College in 1896 that women enrolled in significant numbers. The first female student to begin a course here was Lilias Annie Clark, who studied Modern Literature and Education.

The Victoria University was short-lived as the university locations in Manchester and Liverpool were keen to establish themselves as independent universities, unhappy with the practical difficulties posed by maintaining a federal arrangement across broad distances, and spurred by the granting of a charter to the University of Birmingham in 1900.

Following a Royal Charter and Act of Parliament in 1903, the newly formed University of Liverpool started the fragmentation of the Victoria University. The University of Leeds soon followed suit and was granted a royal charter as an independent body by King Edward VII in 1904.

to read more

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Teasel

So important to the woollen industry of Leeds, teasel was included twice. This rendition is by MT Sanders, hand stitched on printed fabric.

Mr Sumner, from the Clothworker's Guild, provided this and many other images associated not only with Leeds textile industries but also with many of the other ancient guilds.

Trowbridge Museum's website has some diagrams showing teasel at work.

Does anyone out there know how the teasel was collected? Were fields of teasel grown? How often were the heads replaced in the machines? If nothing has been invented to replace them are they still being used? Some questions are answered here in a very informative paper, including the fact that the Romans used both teasel and hedgehog skins for the task.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Education - Fuller's Teasel

Dipsacus fullonum ssp fullonum. Historically teasels have been used to bring up a lustrous polished nap or pile on certain woollen cloths before the final finishing process. This image was taken from the bas-relief on the Cloth Worker's Court Building at the University of Leeds.

And here they are ready for action at Armley Mills, apparently no mechanical invention has been found to match the teasel.

The image was manipulated in photoshop, printed on cloth and stitched by Elizabeth Thackrah.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Arts for All - Scotland Forever 1881

Many of the paintings housed in Leeds Art Gallery were given to the City. This was the first gift to the collection, from Colonel Harding, when the building was put up by the city Corporation in 1889 at a cost of over £10,000. One of the great favourites in the permanent collection.

Scotland Forever by Lady Elizabeth Butler.

Probably the best known painting of the gallant charge of the Royal North Dragoons, The Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo. According to an eyewitness Alexander Armour at the start of the charge the Greys had to pass through the ranks of the Highland Brigade and Armour recalled The highlanders were then ordered to wheel back, when they did so we rushed through them at the same time they heard us calling Now my boys Scotland Forever.

'When I visited Leeds Art Gallery to find out which piece of work they would allow me to embroider I had hoped to work on The Surgeons by Barbara Hepworth but there were problems. I was told this was the best known picture in the gallery and many people's favourite.
The picture was quite well known to me, it is reproduced in a book of famous paintings which my father owned. I was allowed to look at the pictures on Sunday afternoons.
The work was so detailed I thought that the only way to approach it was to start with a print.
I began to stitch into the print but found that the paint was starting to lift,so the only answer was to stitch the entire surface.
The sky took on an energy all its own, I hope it does no violence to the quality of the original.'

Freda Copley October 2004

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Arts for All - Paula Rego Poster

This painting by Paula Rego was used as a poster advertising the Leeds Art Collections Fund, and thus was included on the Arts for All panel.

The fund was founded in 1912 and is one of the earliest "Friends" bodies in Great Britain. Through subscriptions and fund raising events the LACF enriches the collections of the Leeds Galleries including helping with the purchase of this painting.


Rego depicts a mature artist, a sculptress - as can be seen from the background - having a reflective smoke after setting her two apprentices their daily task to paint a still life of an assortment of cabbages and objects on a table. The work is not a self-portrait as Rego used Lila Nunez as her model. Rego describes her sculptress as 'a type of George Sand character', Sand was famous for smoking a pipe and leading a resolutely independent life in a masculine way, but she also had a very feminine personality. The artist is placed at the centre of the painting with everything else subordinate to it and circulating round it. Imaginative power is what so distinguishes this work and, indeed, Paula Rego's art as a whole.

Included today to congratulate Dame Paula Rego on her DBE in today's Birthday honours list.

Congratulations to Graham Nash and John Cale too.

Joan Holah hand stitched this piece on printed fabric (70 hours)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Environment - Aireborough Shield

The Aireborough Badge has never been an official coat of arms, but it is made up of the coats of arms of the families historically associated with the Aireborough townships.

This is a combination of the arms of the Stansfield and Crompton families. Robert Stansfield, who died in 1796, bought Esholt Hall in 1755. In 1880 the Hall belonged to Colonel Crompton Stansfield, then Lord of the Manor of Yeadon. The Hall now belongs to Yorkshire Water.

The arms on the badge is an inaccurate representation of the arms of the de Ward family, whose first known member, Osbert de Warde de Givendale, was living in 1130. Simon de Warde founded Esholt priory about the end of the 12th century. Four members of the family were Rectors of Guiseley: Nicholas in 1254, John in 1345, Simon in 1414 and Christopher in 1500. the last known member of the family was Sir Christopher who died in 1522 and was probably buried at Esholt.

The arms for Rawdon are from the Rowden family. A Paul de Rowden probably came to England with William the Conqueror. A John de Rowden, who died in 1350, was buried at Rawdon. The last of the Rawdon lands passed to the monks of Kirkstall, and after the Reformation to the Earl of Cumberland, and later by sale to Francis Layton. Rawdon Church was built in 1684 in accordance with the Will of Francis Layton who had died 20 years earlier.

(Information from the Aireborough Directory of 1997).

Hand stitched by Margaret Clark

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Faith in the City - Mill Hill Chapel

The building is the only survivor in City Square from before 1893. It replaced the earlier chapel of 1674 where Joseph Priestley was the minister in the late eighteenth century. His statue, appropriately faces over City Square to the chapel and there are several memorials within which have survived from the earlier building of 1674.

Designed by Bowman and Crowther of Manchester between 1847 and 1848, it was apparently known at one time as the 'mayor's nest' when it provided four Dissenting mayors in five years.

When the new Mill Hill Chapel was opened it had a congregation of over 1,000. Many of the present congregation helped Margaret Cordell in sewing this piece in cross stitch.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Faith in the City - John and Joan Gamble

The embroidery is of John & Joan Gamble at their wedding in 1952. Joan is one of the volunteers at the Tapestry and wanted her husband, as a Mill Hill Chapel member on the Faith Panel. He was still alive when Kate talked to the congregation about the idea of the Tapestry and was very keen for the building to be on the panel. After he died Joan suggested he should be represented, initially by himself but as the photographer of the family very few images of him survive so Joan was pursuaded to join him.

John's family connection with Mill Hill can be traced back to before the present chapel was built in 1848. After their marriage they were both involved in the life of the chapel, founding the popular dance club and helping with the dramatic society. John held the post of Treasurer for Mill Hill for 42 years and, as the Minister remarked in his eulogy,

"John was rarely centre stage. He was seen to join me on the roof when slates fell or gutters bunged-up or to pop-in to talk or sometimes argue a point of difference. His great quality was that he was unassuming."

Joan was nervous about doing the embroidery and was assisted with her veil and John's suit by Janet Taylor.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Faith in the City - Leeds Parish Church

The parish church of Leeds by RD Chantrell for Dr Walter Farquhar Hook, who was vicar from 1837 until 1859. It replaced the medieval church at a cost of £30,000.

The exhibition for Woodbine Willie celebrates 100 years since his ordination as a priest there.

During a diocesan reorganisation in the late C19 the church was denied cathedral status, a fact that historically would have prevented Leeds from becoming a city but the link with Anglican dioceses was broken in 1889 when Birmingham successfully petitioned for city status on the grounds of its large population and history of good local government. So, instead, the church is affectionately known as Leeds Parish Church within the diocese of Ripon and Leeds.

When Pevsner wrote about the building in 1959 he was not enthused by the fact that the railway, in 1869, had cut the church off from the town 'so effectively that it seems to stand at a half-commercial, half-derelict dead end'. We may have all grumbled when the loop route was conceived and in place but at least it made the church more visible and seemingly more accessible to the people of Leeds.

The embroidery was hand painted to the design of James Brown and hand stitched by Joyce James.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Local Faces - Woodbine Willie (1883-1929)

I read in last night's Evening Post that there is an exhibition about Woodbine Willie at the Parish Church until 13th June. Must visit and report back but its being mentioned now as there's not a lot of time left for others to visit.

Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy was born in 1883 in a vicarage in Quarry Hill, the son of vicar William Studdert Kennedy.

He was an army chaplain during the First World War, serving on the Somme and at Messines Ridge where he was awarded a Military Cross in 1917. He went to Leeds Grammar School and after the war was curate at the Parish Church and St Mary’s Quarry Hill.

His nickname comes from his habit of comforting the weary troops with cigarettes. He was also a poet and his view of the nickname is summed up by him thus:

THEY gave me this name like their nature,
Compacted of laughter and tears,
A sweet that was born of the bitter,
A joke that was torn from the years.

Of their travail and torture, Christ's fools,
Atoning my sins with their blood,
Who grinned in their agony sharing
The glorious madness of God.

Their name! Let me hear it--the symbol
Of unpaid--unpayable debt,
For the men to whom I owed God's Peace,
I put off with a cigarette.

Woodbine Willie died in 1929. He was only 45, but a combination of asthma and overwork brought on his early end. His funeral was in Worcester where he ran a parish. The crowds there were enormous and on his coffin were many wreaths with sentimental notes. One however had no note, just a packet of Woodbines.

Ena Dunn hand stitched this piece on printed fabric (20hours).

Friday, 4 June 2010

A Picture of Health panel

Consultation for this began in 1996 and the panel was finally unveiled in April 2002. Unlike all the other panels there is no back cloth, all of the work was drawn and painted on silk and the quilted pieces patched together.

Kate invited Paddy Killer to design the panel and teach volunteers to do the actual work. The first workshop was chaotic with many people trying to learn the very precise techniques used in Paddy's work, but as the months passed a small core of embroiderers formed to make the whole panel.

Before making the actual panel, the volunteers had to practice drawing and painting on silk and fortunately we still have photographs of the series of figures made by Anne Cove.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Arts for All - Lotherton Hall

Just been over to Lotherton Hall where there is another branch of the Flocking Together Exhibition taking place throughout the Museum Service in Leeds. There's also a very comprehensive exhibition of the works of Sutton Taylor, who used to live at Lotherton Old Hall.

In continuous occupation since the 7th century, Lotherton takes its name from an Anglo-Saxon settler called Hluttor whose farm or 'tun' occupied the site in early times. By 1086 records suggest that a hall or manor house had been built here and, during the Middle Ages, a number of tenants are recorded as having lived on the site, including such well known Yorkshire families as the Nevilles and the de Hothams.

In the 1540s the farmlands surrounding the hall were purchased by John Gascoigne of Lasingcroft to form part of his newly acquired Parlington Estate. The Hall itself did not become the property of the family until 1825 when both house and park were purchased by Richard Oliver Gascoigne. Some attempts were made to re-fashion the existing building at this time but it was not until Richard's grandson, Colonel Frederick Gascoigne, inherited the property in 1893 that the house took on its present form. Together with his wife Gwendolen, Colonel Gascoigne extended and remodelled the house and gardens to create a charming home for his family. After his death in 1937 the estates passed to his son and daughter-in-law, Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, who retired here in 1953 after an active diplomatic career.

In 1968 they presented the Hall to the City of Leeds, together with its park, garden and art collections. These, along with items brought from Temple Newsam House and Leeds City Art Gallery and objects bought specially for the house since it opened as a museum in 1969 are what visitors to the house see today, a lasting testimony to an ancient Yorkshire family and support of the arts by the people of Leeds (I've extracted this from their site).

The embroidery was hand painted and stitched by Anne Cove. I'd forgotten that Anne made a larger, similar hanging for Lotherton Hall and at present it can be seen in the entrance porch.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sports for All - John Charles CBE (1931-2004)

The ‘Gentle Giant’ was born in Swansea in 1931 and was signed by Leeds on his 16th birthday. In 1953-54 he scored 42 League goals to set a new United seasonal record, breaking another record 3 years later when he was sold to Juventus for £65,000. Charles returned to Leeds in 1962 but left for Roma after only 11 league games. He is said to have been Leeds greatest player outside of the Revie era and he earned his nickname by never being sent off or cautioned.

He has been honoured in Leeds with one of the stands at Leeds United being named after him and as we saw yesterday the South Leeds Stadium, once the home of Leeds Reserves is now renamed in his memory.

Hand stitched on printed fabric by Janet Carding(42 hours), all is not as it appears in the embroidery. Thanks to pictures in a 1950s football annual and a bit of photoshopping, his right arm (borrowed from Gary McAllister) and the football were added out of the frame.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Sports for All - John Charles Centre for Sport

This would appear to be the best all round sports centre in Leeds, but finding information about it on any website other than Wikki is like finding hen's teeth. The Council website gives the impression that it is only a Tennis centre, though controversially it is a difficult site to search.

So, the few facts found are that it was opened as the South Leeds Stadium in 1996 and renamed the John Charles Centre for Sport, possibly in 2006. The swimming pool is olympic standard and replaces the Poulson pool formerly in the City centre. It also seems that for the first time ever the election results were announced there, rather than at the Town Hall.

Hopefully no sportsperson was relying on this site for information about the venue and I will endeavor to find out more.

For swimmers there's this link, courtesy of Doncaster Dartes.

The embroidery was hand stitched by Joan Holah on printed fabric.

Post script

courtesy of Leeds Live it Love it

"Sporting excellence is part of the Leeds heritage, and with this in mind the John Charles Centre for Sport has been designed to the highest standards.

The stadium offers a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. It has a 2,500 seat grandstand and four floors of top-class sporting and hospitality accommodation. Facilities include Leeds' first ever indoor bowls centre, indoor athletics centre, eight-lane all-weather outdoor athletics track conforming to full International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) specifications, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and multiple all-weather and grass surface pitches.

The centre has also been home to the Hunslet Hawks rugby league side since it opened in 1995.

2,500 seat grandstand
Indoor bowling centre (open seven days a week from 10am to 10pm for both competitive and casual bowlers)
Indoor athletics centre, for track running, all four jumping disciplines (triple jump, long jump, high jump, pole vault), and an area for javelin, discus and hammer.
Weights area
Eight-lane all-weather outdoor athletics track
Tennis courts, indoor and outdoor."
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