Friday, 30 April 2010

On the Move - GNER Train

Just back from a train trip to London to see the Quilt show at the V & A and Mrs Delaney's Exhibition at Sir John Soanes. You see the link?

There are several train engines on the Transport panel and this is the GNER representative. Great North Eastern Railway was a train company owned by Sea Containers Ltd which operated high speed express trains on the Eastern coast main line rail from 1996 to 2007. The dark blue with red trimming was a reference to the GER livery, the pre-nationalisation company who ran the service.

This is possibly a Class 91 but if anyone knows more?

Jan Brown hand stitched this on printed fabric in 40 hours

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Forgotten ones - the leech gatherers

Did you ever wonder who collected the leeches for bloodletting? How could we have left them off the Local Faces panel?

Textile and Industrial Heritage - James Hare

Having written about Alfred Brown's company (established in 1915) I've now started looking to see if any other companies on the Tapestry have survived with the original families running them. James Hare's is one such, and the family were very generous in providing silk fabric for use on the Tapestry.
James Hare started his apprenticeship in a woollen mill in the mid c19. He then became a woollen and worsted merchant first in a cottage in Clare Street (1865), and then he took a warehouse on Wellington Street. In 1913 the firm began to manufacture cloth at Arlington Mills and then acquired a warehouse on Queen Street and built Coronet House.

In 1973 “Hare of England” were sold to Illingworth Morris of Bradford and the fourth generation of the family have continued in business as “James Hare Silks” one of the largest distributors of silk fabrics.
I'm hoping someone from the company can add information about the change of logo.

Valerie Horner made the logo in goldwork, taking 45 hours in the task. Elizabeth Thackrah assembled the book cover with hand dyed fabrics and with notions supplied by Brian Peace, Margaret Clark and Maureen Carr.
Godfrey Harland hand stitched the building on printed fabric in 29 hours.

PS reply from James Hare that this has always been their logo

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Alfred Brown

Harvey Nichols in Leeds currently has an in store exhibition celebrating the cloth manufacturers of Yorkshire. Included are the firms:

Alfred Brown (Bramley, Leeds) , Arthur Harrison (Huddersfield), Hainsworth (Pudsey), Bower Roebuck (Huddersfield), Edwin Woodhouse (Pudsey), John Cavendish (Huddersfield), John Foster (Bradford), Joseph H Clissold (Bradford), Abraham Moon (Guiseley), Savile Clifford (Huddersfield), Taylor&Lodge (Huddersfield). It's good to know there are still these firms around in Yorkshire.

When Alfred Brown's wanted to be included on the panel what better way of representing them than the end product of their weaving. The Tapestry had recently acquired computerised sewing machines and Elizabeth Thackrah experimented with several designs until this was finally chosen.

In 2003 AW Brown sent this description of the firm

"Originally known as Brown & Sons (Bramley) Ltd founded by Mr Herbert Brown JP, a well known Leeds Liberal, deputy Lord Mayor and Chairman of the Leeds Permanent Building Society. the original company made uniform clothes for police, fire brigades and the armed forces.
The company had a difficult start and lost £30,000 in the 1920s slump. Mr Alfred Brown Snr was asked by his father to help pull the company round as Mr Herbert Brown did not want the stigma of bankruptcy.
At the time of the slump Mr Alfred Brown Snr ran 2 looms out of 43 for their own use, the rest weaving on commission.
From this low position Mr Alfred Brown Snr and Mr Stanley Brown progressed to the war years of 1939-45. the trade after the war changed to domestic production and Montague Burton was the corner stone of the business for many years.
The next generation came into the business in the 1950s, Mr Peter Brown, Mr Alfred Brown Jnr and Mr David Brown.
New machinery was bought and good progress was made. The business is now run by the sons of Mr Alfred Brown Jnr, Ian Brown, Nigel Brown and Roger Mc Ardle with 24 Sulzer looms producing 450 pieces/week (in 1950s 43 looms produced 43 pieces weekly).

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Leeds in Bloom - The Queens

The Queen's Hotel, on the south side of City Square was built in 1937, from the design of architect to the London Midland and Scottish Railway, WH Hamlyn. It is faced with white Portland stone at the front but the sides and rear are brown brick.

Interesting fact: Portland Cement is often cited as being invented by a Leeds man Joseph Aspdin (1778-1855). Should he be included as one of the forgotten ones?

As a devotee of Art Deco I remember visiting the hotel (penniless) in the 1970s just to see the lift. The building has had a major refurbishment recently but the 1930s features have been retained. I didn't know, until reading it in the link, that The Queens was the first hotel in Britain to have en-suite bathrooms to all rooms and the last of the railway hotels to be in public ownership.

This is another huge piece of embroidery, chartered by Val Lloyd and stitched in blackwork by Audrey Gabbitas. Audrey spent 437 hours on the work and calculated that she had made at least 345,000 stitches. It was quite a job to scan this for the records.

Some of the volunteers didn't necessarily embroider. There were all sorts of other jobs to be done including making tea at workshops, keeping the materials sorted and stitching the individual pieces to the panels. Shirley Gale was one of these people but she also found time to do some needleweaving.

Friday, 23 April 2010

LS2000 - Drawn Metal Ltd

Renee has added a comment on the making of the Drawn Metal Ltd gates (15th April) - the things we do for embroidery.

Leeds in Bloom - Coronation House

In 1911 the Council demolished the old conservatory in the kitchen garden of Roundhay Hall and built the Coronation House. It was rebuilt in 1939 and again in 1984 when the ‘Tropical World ‘ theme was introduced. It has recently been closed for further redevelopment, opening in 2001 to queues of people. Its hard to believe that in the late c19, when John Barran fought to buy Roundhay Park for the city, that his critics called it ‘Barran’s Folly’ because of its great distance from Leeds and its people and that there were schemes to build a railway to provide access.

I think this was written in 2001. More changes have been made since then, including a new enclosure for the very popular meerkats. Well worth a visit.

This piece was chartered by Penny Babbington and stitched by Catherine Davies, a member of the Embroiderer's Guild @ Leeds. The techniques used were blackwork and cross stitch.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Leeds in Bloom

The panel celebrates the open spaces of Leeds seen throughout the year. Kirkstall Abbey in spring, The Queen's Hotel in summer, Roundhay Tropical House in autumn and Harewood in winter. Around each of the main pieces are leaves and flowers made using many different embroidery techniques.
Hilary Thurlow's needleweaving workshops were a great success. She showed many of the volunteers how to tack wire onto card in a leaf shape and then needleweave across the shape. These projects were so small that they could be carried in handbags and brought out at any time to do a bit more.
The one illustrated above was done by Joan Holah but quite often we don't have a name attached to the individual pieces. If you recognise yours please let me know.

An oak leaf with no name attached. I'll slip a few of these in on the blog from time to time.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Legal Sector - Leeds Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms is made up of a collage of different techniques by several people, just like the composition itself is an amalgam of other coats of arms.

I've lifted this description straight from the old Leodis site

In 1626 a Royal Charter of Charles I incorporated the Borough of Leeds when the wealthy Sir John Savile, MP for Yorkshire, was elected the first council member of the Borough. The coat-of-arms displayed a fleece, supported by silver owls on a blue field. The fleece represented the staple trade of the town whilst the supporters came from the arms of Sir John. Sir John had recently become a landowner in Leeds and he gave some land in Headingley for building a church, which became the first St.Michael's in Headingley.

Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1662 the chief inhabitants of the town petitioned Charles II for a new charter. The charter was granted on the 2nd November that year. With this charter the chief citizen became the mayor of the town. The first mayor of the town was Thomas Danby whose arms included three mullets argent, or three silver five-pointed stars to you and me. The stars were added to the arms.

The arms were not settled until 1836 when the Leeds Corporation was reconstituted under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 and the Borough Seal now comprised the full complement of blue shield, owl supporters, the crest and the motto, 'pro rege et lege'

An important citizen of Leeds in 1920 was Alderman Sir Charles Wilson MP, a Freeman of Leeds and London. He was concerned about the legality of the coat-of-arms as it was not registered at the College of Heralds. It was decided to submit the matter to the College.
His Majesty's Officers at Arms altered the colour of the owls to 'proper', that being the proper colour of owls.

The arms received the sanction of the College on the 7th November 1921. Above the shield is the closed helmet used by Civic Authorities with a crest-wreath and covering in the principal colours of the arms, gold and blue.

The full coat is now described in heraldic terminology as: Shield: azure, a fleece or, on a chief sable three mullets argent; Crest: on a wreath or and azure, an owl proper; Supporters: an owl proper ducally crowned; Motto: 'Pro rege et Lege'.

The three owls were embroidered by Audrey Gabbitas in a variety of techniques. The wings are canvaswork, the bodies hand embroidered and padded, the feet made of wire and wrapped with perle thread and the crowns are gold leather. The lamb and stars by Colleen Nicoll and the helmet and plume by Anne Darch were all appliqued. Kate Russell and Sue Hodgson hand embroidered the ribbon.


There's a very interesting article here about the owls of Leeds, apparently they are European Eagle Owls

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Legal Sector

This was the first panel, started in 1992 and unveiled at a breakfast event in hosted by the Hotel Metropole on 26th September 1995. At the time many people from the legal sector in Leeds became involved in the project; not only with fundraising and research but also with the embroidery and design. Members of the Embroiderer's Guild @ Leeds also came on board after a talk at their monthly meeting. Quite a few of these original stitchers continued working throughout the whole project.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The Forgotten ones - Nash's

Thought I would share with you the fact that one of the buildings on Cossin's Map, featured last month, is still standing. Built in 1720 for Matthew Wilson it is now...........

a fish and chip restaurant, Nash's.

Another for the forgotten ones?

There's even an image of it as Richard Kemplay's Academy on the Leodis website

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Hopkin's Catering Equipment

There would have been a nice bit of symmetry if Hopkins had provided the fish fryer for Oakwood Fisheries but they didn't!

Vincent Hopkins established Hopkin's Catering Equipment on 17th September 1957 with the aim to provide a complete service to the catering industry. The business is now in the hands of the second and third generations of his family.

The family were really enthusiastic in their support of the Tapestry. They were contacted via Bryan's Fish Restaurant and provided the cartoons to bring to life the story of the Fish Fryer. Neither did Mrs Hopkins forget us when a neighbouring tailor retired and she rescued his unused cloth for tapestry use.

Jackie Ford machine embroidered the background for the piece and Renee Silverman made the two people in the foreground. Janet Taylor and Kate Russell are also recorded as working on the piece - perhaps the frame?

"Fish and chips being my favourite food I was happy to take up the challenge of the Hopkins piece. The background was being beautifully done by Jackie, I just had to concentrate on the two figures. The setting had an early 1900 look about it, the man in his high button suit and bowler hat, the woman in her hat and dress with leg-of-mutton sleeves. A couple of local people dressed up for an evening out, perhaps returning from an evening in the gallery of the City Varieties, stopping off for a portion of cod and bag of chips on their way home, well satisfied with their lot in life. The fingers presented a challenge and I eventually settled for hands for the man made from fine wire wrapped round with tape, dipped in adhesive and painted. The woman's hand was made in a similar fashion but enclosed in a glove made from a scrap of velvet. Would anyone hold fish and chips wearing a velvet glove you may ask - but that is embroiderer's licence. The newspaper was an actual piece of the Leeds Mercury of the time which Barbara Walker printed onto a piece of silk for me, at reduced scale, and the chips were my husband's inspiration, padded strips of painted felt glued to wires which are passed through and anchored at the back of the embroidery. I hope it looks real enough to viewers and that they might even imagine a waft of malt vinegar as they pass by." Renee Silverman

Post Script March 2012
The road sign above the shop relates to Hopkins address, Kent Road Pudsey.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Arts for All - Oakwood Fisheries

Just across the road from Oakwood Clock is Oakwood Fisheries. Its been a Fish and Chip shop since 1934 when the Art Deco frontage was built and it's now a Grade II listed building. The shop front was added to a row of shops built in the late 1800s - it must have been stunning when it was first added. Has anyone got a picture of the parade from the late 1930s? We need a photograph of the buildings just to the left of this link. While I've been looking on Leodis site for images I came across this one of Oakwood Clock in its former position in the market.

The piece was hand stitched (modern crewel work) on printed fabric (though there's not a piece of it visible) by Val Gomersal. I particularly like the pigeon on the pavement. When the final panel, Arts for All was being embroidered each of the pieces was scanned at a much higher resolution and we are able to get really close-up pictures of the stitches.

...and, after last friday night, I can highly recommend the fish and chips.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Leeds in Bloom - Oakwood Clock

Designed by Leeming and Leeming and made in 1904 by Potts and Sons of Guildford Street Leeds. The clock was originally the centrepiece of Leeds New Market Hall (1904) but alterations to the building made it obsolete and the decision was made to move it to Oakwood in 1912.

Originally a gravity hand-wound striking clock the mechanism was removed in 1941 (re-used in Leck Church, Lancashire) and a self-starting synchronous movement was fitted, the bell was broken up and used for scrap.

Potts and Sons made many clocks for Leeds including those in Thornton's Arcade (with figures by JW Appleyard), The Griffin Hotel and the clock on the Stable Block in Roundhay Park. Going off the point a bit, there seems to be some confusion in the books about Leeds as to who built the clock in the Grand Arcade - were Robert James and Joseph Potts of Leeds part of the same family and company? For readers wanting more information on Potts there is a flicker group of photographs of the clocks and a book on the history of the firm.

The company joined the Smith of Derby Group in 1933, but possibly still have a base in Leeds? Not any longer - see notes from Michael Potts below.

The canvas was chartered by Ann Wheatley and the piece was started by Maureen Carr and finished by Godfrey Harland (Godfrey spent 199 hours working on it).

Additional notes supplied by Michael S Potts, direct descendant of Robert and William and collector and researcher of clocks made by the Potts Family:

1. The firm's name was Wm. Potts & Sons in 1904 and apart from the addition of "Limited" a few years later it has remained the same to the present day. Robert, James and Joseph were William's sons who joined the firm. In the end five consecutive generations of the family were involved in clockmaking.
2. the Oakwood clock movement is now at Leck Church.
3. The firm installed over a hundred public clocks in Leeds between 1858 and 1934, not all of which have survived, but many have. Thornton's, Queen's, Grand, and Market Arcades all had clocks. Other significant buildings in the city centre that can be seen today are The Corn Exchange (1862), Griffin Hotel (1877), General Post Office (1895), Leeds Parish Church (1898), Holy Trinity Church(1902).
4. The firm joined Smith of Derby in 1934. They no longer have a base in Leeds.

Thank you Michael

Friday, 16 April 2010

LS2000 - Time Ball Buildings

I should apologise for the quality of the image this morning. When the Tapestry was begun it was always going to be important to keep a record of who had done each piece of work. Kate was very aware that large works of needlework and embroidery from history had obviously involved many workers, but none of their names has been recorded.

As each piece was completed a description of it, with the name of the volunteer was entered in a ledger. This was fine with the unique pieces but meaningless when the description was 'leaves' or 'tree' or 'lady in red coat'. When we finally acquired computers a and digital camera this could be remedied with a pictorial record of each embroidery.

So, the quality of the images on this blog is at the mercy of 1990s technology. Each piece was scanned at 150dpi (we were advised to scan at 72 to save space). I really should photoshop the background of this one.

Sponsored by Marriott, who took over this building, the Time Ball Buildings is one of the great curiosities of Leeds. Apparently behind this rich facade are two C17 houses, I wonder if either appear on the Cossins map? The elaborate stucco was applied in 1876 by John Dyson, jeweller and watchmaker. The building is named after the elaborate time ball mechanism attached to the clock above the entrance, which was linked to Greenwich and dropped at exactly 1 pm each day. It was installed in 1910 along with a second clock by Potts, with a gilded figure of Father Time carved by JW Appleyard.

The interior has now been converted into a restaurant but retains most of its ornate late Victorian fittings, including chandeliers bought at the 1890 Paris exhibition.

It was hand stitched on printed fabric by Joan Holah.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

LS2000 - Drawn Metal Ltd

Some of the pieces on the Tapestry have been researched and recorded in full. Others, like the above have the name of the company attached and very little background material. Drawn Metal Ltd are still functioning, congratulations, and hope someone from the firm can add a potted history to the blog.

Watch this space.

Renee Silverman stitched both of the pieces and I hope she'll be able to tell us more about her work.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

LS2000 - Millennium Owl

Today's image appears as a response to Leeds Daily Photo blog.

When Millennium Square was created in 1999-2000, by the Civic Architect John Thorp, two new owls were commissioned to stand on Portland stone obelisks at the entrance to the Civic Hall. Apparently the largest platform crane in the country at that time was used to take photographs of the original Art Deco owls on the top of the building.

The bronze was cast and the gilding applied in High Wycombe. There are no bronze foundries in Leeds. Were there ever?

This owl was made by Beryl Smith in goldwork. Kid was cut to shape, padded underneath and stitched by hand.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Local Faces - John Barran (1821-1905)

Greenwood and Batley developed the band-knife for Barran (the son of a London gunmaker), which was capable of cutting through several layers of cloth at a time. Coupled with the use of the Singer sewing machine this enabled Barran’s factory in Alfred Street to become the first to produce ready-made mass produced clothes. They were able to provide uniforms for the Crimean War, the expanding force of rail workers and the police. The factory also produced children's clothes including sailor suits which were very popular in the late nineteenth century.

The Moorish building in Park Square built in 1879 (architect Thomas Ambler) was originally John Barran’s warehouse.

He made a fortune and turned his hand to politics, becoming the Lord Mayor of Leeds between 1870 and 1872. It was while he held this post that in 1871, due to the death of the owner, the Roundhay estate came onto the market and was sold at auction on 4 October. Barran urged the Council to buy the estate for the people of Leeds but they were reluctant and as the estate then lay outside Leeds boundary they had no authority to make the purchase. With little time to change the Council's mind, John and his supporters raised the money themselves, the huge sum in those days of £127,000. After this he offered the estate, at cost, to the Council who agreed to the purchase after getting parliamentary approval.

Denise Teed machine embroidered this piece on handmade felt.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Local Faces - John Harrison (1693-1776)

During the run up to the Millennium there was a lot of press coverage devoted to the great and the good of Yorkshire. Two men named John Harrison frequently cropped up in these articles.

Both lived over 300 years ago so images of them are scarce and somehow the John Harrison born in Foulby, near Wakefield, has managed to settle himself at a table with the Leeds worthies on the Local Faces panel.

The clue is in his hand. It was only a matter of time before we could link him to Leeds.

The piece was hand stitched by Betty Bertrand

Sunday, 11 April 2010

LS2000 - Asda Headquarters

Founded in 1949 as Associate Dairies and Farm Stores Limited, the present name is derived from their amalgamation with Asquith Supermarkets in 1965 (Asquith and Dairies).

There seem to have been many changes in the structure of the organisation since then - the dairy division was sold and is now known as Associated Fresh Foods - at the present time though it is owned by Corinth Services Limited, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart.

I quote from the Pevsner Guide to Leeds

"E of the bridge is a path along the river's s bank lined by the tedious, long low three-storey brick range of the Asda Headquarters, 1988 by John Brunton Partnership; one of the first commercial developments in this run-down area. Quasi-traditional, with an unnerving variety of window forms including canted oriels rising to gablets and a clerestory under deep eaves."

I don't think the author is over-impressed but Barbara Hebden did a fabulous job on the embroidery - hand stitched on printed fabric, including french knots.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

LS2000 - Crown Point Bridge

We all take bridges for granted getting from one side of the River Aire to the other but in the nineteenth century it wasn't so easy.

In April 1840 an Act of Parliament was obtained to build this bridge to relieve the growing pressure on Leeds Bridge (at that time an old and many times widened stone structure) at the eastern edge of central Leeds. Designed by the Bradford engineer George Leather Jnr., the 120 feet wide, single span iron bridge was constructed with castings made at Park Iron Works in Sheffield.

The bridge was built at a cost of £36,000 and officially opened as a toll bridge in July 1842. The toll was abolished in March 1868.

George Leather Jnr, as engineer to the Aire and Calder Navigation, was also responsible for rebuilding the Victoria Bridge three or four years earlier after the timber bridge on the spot had been swept away in a great flood. The cost of the stone structure was a mere £8,000. A much smaller bridge or was stone cheaper than iron?

Joyce James hand stitched this piece on printed fabric. The earlier pieces of printed fabric were produced by a commercial firm but this is one of those done by the volunteers with a domestic ink-jet printer, using iron-on transfer paper.

Friday, 9 April 2010

LS 2000

From the eighteenth to the twenty-first century in twenty four hours.

After the Money Works panel had been unveiled other firms from the financial sector were eager to be included on the Tapestry. The talk then was of 24-hour and internet banking and many new developments were springing up around Leeds, particularly around the waterfront.

LS2000 - Urban Fabric represents a communications superhighway around the border, and the historical superhighway, the river, running down the centre of the panel. When it was first planned the idea was to incorporate fibre optics in the design but, despite attending many workshops, they had to be ruled out as unworkable.

Darren Newby of Carey Jones was commissioned to design an architectural map suggesting 'urban fabric' which includes the River Aire, some of the statues from city square and the floor plan of the Tetley Brewery Wharf visitor centre ( or is it the Corn Exchange?).

The architectural map was then machine stitched onto a huge piece of pelmet vilene by Elizabeth Thackrah and the individually embroidered buildings were fixed to board to raise them from the surface of the map. This posed quite a problem for the team who had to research extensively for conservation grade glues which were capable of bearing the weight of the pieces. Before the re-launch last year this panel had to be removed from it's frame to make minor repairs.

and finally.........
the mouse traps on Secret Lives of Objects are definitely worth a peak.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Benjamin Gott (1762-1840)

Yesterday we showed the mill, today the man responsible for it.

Born in Calverley, son of an engineer & county surveyor, he was apprenticed to Wormald & Fountaine, woollen merchants, in 1780. In 1792 he built Bean Ings, the first proper woollen factory in Leeds, which seven years later was seriously damaged by fire. Armley Mills was also damaged by fire when he was tenant so the rebuilding, carried out by Charles Bage, was of fire-proof construction, one of the earliest in England and the oldest surviving in Yorkshire.

Gott made a large fortune, ploughing much back of it into his mills but also founding almshouses in Armley, collecting art works and presiding over the founding of the Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society in 1819. He was Mayor of Leeds in 1799.

In 1803 Gott bought the estate now known as Gott's Park and rebuilt the present mansion on the site of a much older building. From 1904 to 1924 the house and grounds were used as a sanatorium, first by Leeds Association for the Prevention and Cure of Tuberculosis and afterwards by the City Council's Health Committee. The estate was later bought by the trustees of Wade's Charity which bought and presented several open spaces to Leeds corporation for use as parks. On the opening day Sir Arthur Copson Peake, Chairman of the Trustees, handed over the estate to the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Alderman George Ratcliffe. The house is now a golf clubhouse.

Courtesy of the internet there are many websites showing that his ancestors are alive and well and researching the family tree.

Betty Laycock hand stitched the piece in 21 hours.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Arts for All - Armley Mills

There have been mills on the site since the seventeenth century but the building now standing was constructed by Benjamin Gott after a fire in 1805. The mill closed in 1969 and was bought by Leeds City Council who reopened it in 1982 as an industrial museum. In the early days of making Leeds Tapestry a room at the museum was used for workshops, but when a Lottery Grant was obtained for computer equipment the workshop was moved to the more central location of Holy Trinity Church where there was more space for an office.

Extract from a letter by Claire Wildman, September 2, 2003

"Looking back, I'm glad that in the early days we worked on the Tapestry in the Armley Mills Museum, it seemed right, to be where the wool was spun into weft and woven into material. I hope that the tapestry, and Leeds coat of arms, will remind people in the future that that is how Leeds started. I was thirteen when the Second World War started, so when I left school in 1940 I started work at Hartley's Mill up Dewsbury Road, it wasn't exactly clogs and shawls, but as a weaver I had to have a weft skirt, which was a harding skirt gathered round the waist which fell very full to the floor, it was used to carry bobbins from the 'mules'to the looms. When the bobbins were ready to be 'doffed' the women would fill baskets and bins and tip them into your skirt, which you would pick up from the bottom hem to catch all the bobbins and they would be put right round so the skirt was full and the weight even. It was quite easy to carry, though you took plenty of room up. To empty it you simply stooped forward into the weavers baskets. You had to be quick, the weavers were on piece work, not by the hour.
I don't know any other mills that had this method, though Hartley's had some more mills in Morley, may be they did"

How many more mills would have been on the Tapestry if the planning and designing had been thirty years earlier?

Chris Richardson machine appliqued this piece.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Local Faces - the forgotten ones

Colonel Thomas Walker Harding (1843-1927)

The general public of Leeds were asked to nominate those represented on the Tapestry but I don't think anyone mentioned this chap. I'm intending to keep a list of those forgotten just in case someone would like to take up the challenge and make more panels. Feel free to nominate other people and places.

Without Colonel Harding Leeds may not have had the statues in City Square, such a well stocked Art Gallery or Abbey House Museum.

Thanks to Leeds Museums and Galleries for permission to reproduce the painting and the extract below

"Abbey House (now the Abbey House Museum) was sold to Col T W Harding in 1893. Col. Harding was married to the niece of J O Butler, one of the prominent and influential 'ironmasters' of Kirkstall Forge. Harding was Colonel of Butler's old regiment, the Leeds Artillery Volunteers. In addition to operating his family's firm, TR Harding and Son, card, wool-comb, steel pin, counter and speed indicator manufacturers, Harding made enormous contributions to the civic and cultural life of Leeds. He was a City Councillor for Headingley Ward, an alderman, Lord Mayor in 1898, Chairman of the West Riding Rives Board and President of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Today we can still appreciate many aspects of his artistic achievements. He virtually founded the Leeds City Art Gallery, chairing is committee for almost twenty years, and presenting some of its best-known paintings; he promoted the scheme for creating City Square, giving its fine statues of the Black Prince, Dean Hook, Joseph Priestley and their attendant ladies 'Morn' and 'Even', and he built one of the city's most fascinating industrial monuments - the dust extraction shaft at his Tower Works takes the form of Giotto's campanile at the Duomo in Florence. Less well known are his romantic historical novels, such as 'The Abbot of Kirkstall, a Romance of the Time of the Black Prince'. with these interests it is not surprising that Col. Harding took great pains to improve the Abbey House, using every opportunity to enhance its historic character. Above the Norman Hall he created 'Ye Abbot's Room' with oak panelling, stained glass windows, ornate plaster ceiling and fine carved oak fireplace, its overmantle showing Abbot Ripley surrendering Kirkstall Abbey in 1539. Downstairs in the south wing, the 'De Lacy Room' received similar treatment, the painted tiles set in the magnificent carved oak fireplace being of particular interest. Decorated in the style of William Morris and his circle, they feature portraits of Harding's namesake, Abbot Stephen of Citaux, who drew up the constitution of the Cistercian monastic order, Alexander the first abbot of Kirkstall, and Henry de Lacy, the founder of the Abbey. To the west of the gatehouse, the 1840s extensions were partly demolished to make way for a splendid oak staircase extending the full height of the building, its stained glass reflecting Col. Harding's historical and military interests. Those on the lower landing show Saladin, Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard Coeur de Lion, whilst those on the upper landing show the arms of Abbey House's owner, the Earl of Cardigan and successive occupants GS Beecroft, JO Butler and TW Harding. Other improvements included new panelling in the Norman Hall, new extensions to the kitchen wing, a stone and timber framed summerhouse or aviary to the north and many other minor details."

Extract from the out of print 'The Museum of Leeds Abbey House' (Leeds Leisure Services Publication)

Monday, 5 April 2010

Millennium Embroideries

I've just been given a link to Ipswich Charter Hangings.

Not, strictly speaking a Millennium Embroidery, they celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to Ipswich by King John in 1200.

The panels were researched and designed by Isabel Clover, a lecturer and tutor at Suffolk College renowned nationally for her ecclesiastical embroidery, and were produced under her direction by current or former City and Guild students.

Like many of the 'Tapestries' the eight panels seem to have had difficulty finding a permanent home and have even had a temporary exhibition in Jamestown and Ipswich in the USA

Their permanent home seems to have been settled as St. Peter's Church, College St. Ipswich IP4 1DD.

Faith in the City - United Hebrew Congregation Synagogue

I haven't got to grips with the 'placing' of Easter in the secular calendar, I know its all to do with the phases of the moon and its the same calculation which gives the Jewish faith their Passover each year.

Passover this year is 30th March until 5th April. On the internet these dates vary, possibly because dating can be measured at sunset?

The first synagogue in Leeds opened in 1846 (on a site now covered by the Merrion Centre) but by 1900, as a result of the Russian pograms, there were so many Jewish immigrants in the city that there were about 12 in use.

Stanley Wright and Clay of Albion Street designed this Neo-Byzantine United Hebrew Congregation Synagogue on Chapeltown Road built in 1927. As the Jewish population moved north out of central Leeds new synagogues were built and this one became part of the Northern School of Dance, redesigned by Allen Tod Architects between 1995 and 1998.

Arnold Ziff sponsored this piece which was hand stitched on printed fabric by Pauline Clayden (20 hours). When the building was considered for the Faith panel it had already been altered into the Dance School and so, with the help of Rabbis Ian Morris and Solomon Brown and Eve Charing, Hebrew text, stained glass and hand rails were edited back into the picture using photoshop.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Faith in the City - Christian Aid Cross

Happy Easter to all.

I was trying to find an image from the Tapestry relevant to Easter Day and came across this one entitled The Christian Aid Cross.

Taken directly from their website-

"Christian Aid was founded by the churches of Britain and Ireland. Together, we work to fight poverty and injustice.

Inspired by the gospel message of hope, we unite people across the globe from all denominations and networks in prayer and service."

I've found no evidence of this cross on the website so don't know whether it was used at the Millennium or whether it was based on one of the gifts in the fund raising catalogue. Is it based on embroidery from Guatamala?

This piece of embroidery was hand stitched by Claire Wildman (hours not recorded).

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Faith in the City - The Cathedral Church of St Anne

The old St Anne's was built as recently as 1838 but by 1900 it's location was in the way of Leeds development of a tram system. It was demolished to open up the junction of Cookridge Street with Park Row.

The foundation stone of the present Cathedral was laid on the Feast of St Anne, 26th July 1902. It was a collaborative work by architects John Henry Eastwood (1843-1913), a native of Leeds, and Sidney Kyffin Greenslade (1866-1955).

The religious buildings on the Faith panel were some of the largest projects of the tapestry. Lizzie Ingle and Lynne Ward completed the 'James Brown' cathedral in petit point in 50 hours and Barbara Gray spent 356 hours on the street level view in cross stitch.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Faith in the City - Chevin Cross

Today's offering is the Cross at Otley

Otley Council of Christian Churches installed the first Chevin Cross in 1969. The current cross was made of timber salvaged from Manchester’s Arndale Centre after the IRA bombing and first used in 2000.

The monument is 32 feet by 16 feet and requires at least 40 volunteers to raise it each year.

The printed fabric was hand stitched in long and short by Olive Hudson and Gwen Woolliscroft in a total of 45 hours.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Faith in the City - St John's Church

Two views of St John's Church, one at street level in needlepoint by Patricia Andrews (260 hours) and the other hand painted and stitched by Gill Cook (no hours recorded). James Brown, who makes the pictorial maps of Leeds, designed the aerial perspectives of the churches on the Faith Panel.

When John Harrison had this church built in 1631-4, entirely at his own expense, the Archbishop of York at first refused to consecrate it. He was one of the clergy who wanted to get back to the elaborate ceremonies of Roman Catholicism and suspected Harrison of puritanism.

Leeds Daily Photo Blog visited the interior last year. I'm ashamed to say I've not been inside the building which apparently includes work by the woodcarver Francis Gunby who was also involved in the contemporary remodelling of Temple Newsam House. Now on the to do list.

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