Monday, 31 May 2010

Sports for All - young cyclists

More cyclists on the Sports panel, again unidentified people. Possibly this was taken from one of the photographs in the collection kept by Gill Keddie at South Leeds Stadium and loaned to the Tapestry for action shots. Since the panels were completed the Stadium has been renamed the John Charles Centre for Sport, which possibly provides a clue for tomorrow's blog.

Children when the photograph was taken and the embroidery stitched, I wonder if they're still cycling?

This piece was hand stitched on printed fabric by Cynthia Jackson.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

On the Move - cyclist

I've found another cyclist on the Transport Panel. Is he smiling for the cameras, or because he's not stressed sitting in his car in traffic queues or because he's cycling downhill on his way from work?

There's another image of a cycle path just below him on this panel, and there's a website dedicated to the cyclists of Leeds.

Both were hand stitched by Joan Holah on printed fabric.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Smeaton's Engine

John Smeaton has already starred on the Local Faces panel, above is a sketch of one of his engines which appears on the Textile and Industrial Heritage panel. The writing on the top is 'sketch of a (steam?) engine by J Smeaton about the year 1741'.

The subject is believed to have been drawn at Garforth Colliery c1741 (Royal Society). Thomas Newcomen designed a steam engine in 1712 mainly for draining mines. This is one of Smeaton’s drawings for an improved version of the engine. He improved the sealing on the cylinders and paid more attention to the measurements of the individual parts of the machine.

Mr Smeaton is being mentioned again now because there's a portrait of him at Temple Newsam, at the bottom of the stone staircase. If anyone is going to the Flocking Together Exhibition he or she can kill two birds with one stone and see the painting too.

The embroidery was hand stitched on calico which had been stained with tea and ironed when still wet to give it an old, stressed look. The material was then printed on a domestic printer - not a technique advised if you value your printer - giving an image which isn't colour-fast but fine if the whole piece is stitched. Anne Boyle embroidered the piece.

Friday, 28 May 2010

On the Move - Leeds Coat of Arms

Another magnificent rendition of Leeds Coat of Arms, this one hand stitched by Beryl Smith in 40 hours.

21st April entry describes the history of the Leeds Coat of Arms so I'm linking this one to "Flock Together", bird inspired Exhibitions and Events across the Leeds Museums Service. One of the most interesting exhibits at Temple Newsam has been borrowed from a library in Scotland. It is a priceless Audubon "Birds of America", volume 1 published in the early C19.

Lady Hertford had a copy of this book but it didn't last long. In 1829 she cut out some of the birds to add extra life to her Chinese wallpaper. For the duration of the exhibition at Temple Newsam (28th May - 30th November) the normally roped off Chinese Room has been opened up to give closer access to spotting these American birds in the Chinese landscape.

Flock there and wing your way to the bullion room - particularly this month when the open page of Audubon reveals magnificent Great Horned Owls.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

On the Move - Bicycle

Another sort of bike altogether.

"The Transport Panel was almost complete, it lay horizontally on the trestles. Kate and Brian were laying out the completed pieces on the canvas, endeavouring to obtain balance whilst putting them in approximate date order. Brian drew Kate's attention to the fact that there was no bicycle and offered to sponsor the missing item as his family's contribution. The result can now be seen right in the centre of the panel, a shop delivery cycle with a large basket at the front.

Brian rode such a bike as a teenager, delivering shoe repairs for the family business. In 1936 his father, Harry Jackson, set up in business as a shoe repairer at 220 Harrogate Road. The lock-up shop was built on the site of the yard of the former Queen Hotel.
Brian's wife Merel and sister, Marian Mouncey worked the frame and wheels while Brian completed the basket."

(notes from Brian Jackson 3/11/03)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sports for All - Beryl Burton OBE (1937-1996)

Continuing the cycling theme today's offering should be a well known athlete, Beryl Burton. She absolutely dominated the sport winning the national pursuit champion 13 times and the road title on 12 occasions.

Moving on to time trials, the numbers go up a whole other level. She was 18 times the national 100-mile champion, 23 times the national ‘50' champion and 26 times the 25-mile champion. Burton was already in her 40s when the Road Time Trials Council introduced a national 10-mile title. Yet she also won that four times.

One of her great achievements was the 12 hour time trial.

Mrs Burton, born Beryl Charnock, came from Morley and spent the major part of her racing career with Morley Cycling Club.

Could you imagine a tennis player, footballer or snooker player with so many individual achievements within the sport being so little known in his or her own city, let alone country? Fortunately several people nominated her for the Tapestry and Morley has it's own memorial garden dedicated to her.

The embroidery was hand stitched on printed fabric by Anne Boyle.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sports for All - Leeds Albion Cycling Club

I've searched the internet and can't find anything about this club. Presumably it's no longer running and that Robin Dove found it in one of his many reference books? One of the many things to research down at the Reference Library.

Lesley Dove hand stitched this piece in layers. It's not very big and I imagine it required great dexterity.

The skater below were designed at Intake School and embroidered by Dorothy Wrench.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sporting Life panel

Made between 1995 and January 2002, the Sporting panel was designed with the help of the students of Intake School and represents a colorful comic newspaper. The base is a sports net, screen printed at Leeds College of Art, with the Leeds United colours in the background.

Many students at Intake were involved with the project designing graffiti-style logos, cartoon rugby players, gymnasts and skateboarders. These included Angela Lambert, Leon Barham, Lisa Dickinson, Natalie Gains, Tana Massey and Gemma Stocks.

Some of the people on the panel were chosen by guests at fundraising events, others were chosen by the volunteers working on the project.

When visitors come to see the sixteen panels on display at the Central Library some ask why some of the sportsmen and women of Leeds are absent from the panel (similarly omissions on other panels). The answer is usually as simple as no-one putting a particular name forward when the panel was being planned, or that no suitable image could be found. The most commonly suggested people for this panel were Len Hutton and John Charles. Some sportsmen also appear on the Local Faces panel.

There is always scope for others to be included in "the forgotten ones" if anyone takes up the challenge.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Environment - Granary Wharf

"From 1866-9 North Eastern Railway (NER) constructed an enormous viaduct to ease rail congestion and to link the Leeds and Bradford lines with Marsh Lane Station and routes to Selby, York & the north-east. Formerly used for storage, the vaults, known locally as the Dark Arches, were converted to Granary Wharf Craft Arcade in 1988. There are Victorian-style shops and a Sunday craft market but they seem to have lost some of their appeal in the last few years, possibly because Sunday trading is more common everywhere."

This was written for the Tapestry database as the panels were being finished. Since then there has been a revival and the area redeveloped with a hotel and apartments. There are now themed markets every Saturday.

One interesting date on their calendar this year is World Knitting Day, June 12th 2010. Baa Ram Ewe is a new wool shop in Headingley and the owners seem to have developed a really exciting way of encouraging young people to learn knitting.

Jan Brown hand stitched this piece on printed fabric.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Environment - Rivercare

This is the picture from the front cover of the Rivercare brochure. During the late 1990s this programme was introduced by Yorkshire Water to upgrade the region's 617 inland sewage treatment works and sewerage system. Yorkshire's sewerage system was built by the Victorians and during the 1980s Yorkshire Water began to tackle the years of neglect and underinvestment.

"We will be investing over £1 million every day over the next few years to further improve clean and waste water services in Yorkshire"

Unfortunately there's no date on the publication and there's no obvious information on the Yorkshire Water website about Rivercare. Has the programme finished? Were all goals met? Has it changed it's name to the Freshwater Fish Directive?

In 2002 there was an exhibition at Armley Mills showing photographs taken by the artist in residence, Ian Beesley, was this when the programme came to an end?

Questions, questions.

What I do know is that Joan Holah spent 80 hours hand stitching this on printed fabric.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Leeds in Bloom - Brethericks

Kathleen Bretherick was Kate's local florist. She not only sponsored this piece on the panel but encouraged the Harewood Ladies to join in. Word of mouth was usually the most successful way to get people involved. It seems the business has now closed, so I quote below from the old website.

We are one of the longest established flower shops in Leeds, UK and celebrated 60 years in business in 2006. The business was started by Kath and Ron Bretherick and is now run by their daughter Sandra Moss and granddaughter Carla Moss. Sandra Moss is a Chief Examiner for Society of Floristry, which is the awarding body for the Floristry examinations at the highest level. She has taught floristry and still teaches flower arranging to individuals and groups. Bretherick's has been a member of Interflora since 1960 and has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show, London. We have decorated many venues for dinners where Royalty and High profile personalities have been present.

The piece was cross stitched by Kath and the staff at the shop.

We don't seem to have a detailed photograph of the tulips, and no note of who made them.

Sunflower by Margaret Foxcroft. She moved away from Leeds and sent a parcel of needleweaving treasures from time to time.

Sunflower by Gill Cook, cut fabric with french knots.

Ivy leaves machine stitched by Freda Copley.

Needleweaving ivy leaves by Shirley Shaw.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Leeds in Bloom - Harewood Arms

Kath Bretherick introduced a group of embroiderers from Harewood willing to stitch the Harewood Arms; Mrs Parnaby, Mrs Marshall, Mrs Armstrong, Mrs Hedley, Mrs Sutcliffe, Mrs Peel and Mrs Newby. They in turn suggested the Countess, as an experienced needlewoman, may be willing to get involved, which lead to her becoming a Patron of the Tapestry.

Ann Wheatley chartered the building for petit point (12 hours)

And many others were involved in embroidering flowers using various techniques to surround the piece.

Cross stitch flower border by Ruth Fowler and Lynne Ward

Primrose by Margaret Foxcroft (needleweaving)

Pink flower by unknown embroiderer (needleweaving)

Yellow flower by Shirley Gale (needleweaving)

Primroses by Margaret Foxcroft (needleweaving)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Community Spirit - Morris Men

Following successful contact with the Briggate Morris Dancers, I can now report that these three are from Leeds Morris Men and from left to right are Rob, Joe and Simon.

Leeds Morris Men was founded in 1950 and there's a grand page on their website on how to distinguish them from other sides (yes, there is a collective name for Morris Men). They use the colours of The University of Leeds, white, burgundy and green and the crossed sash/ribbon is known as a baldric.

They perform most Thursday evenings throughout the summer at different pubs and the full programme can be found on their website. This week its the Howden Arms at Tadcaster and The Greyhound at Saxton.

Rob, Joe and Simon were stitched by Merel Jackson (6 1/2 hours) on printed fabric. The embroidery was scanned before the edges were turned over - hence the black outline. Quite often the edges of the pieces were finished off by other volunteers but I suspect that Merel will have done this one herself. She and Shirley Gale were the chief finishers and 'stitchers-down'. A better view of the image can be got by clicking on it.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage panel

Started in 1995 and unveiled 13 July 2000.

Originally there were going to be two panels. Textiles with a background of decoupage screening and Industry with engineering drawings and blue prints. They were amalgamated when the final number of sponsors was known. At this stage Kate realised the background was too busy so it was changed to lightweight, more domestic and feminine fabrics at the top, gradually moving to masculine and more industrial fabrics at the bottom.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Holbeck Bonfire

I've been sorting through 'stuff' and came across a book called "Swaps" printed by Yorkshire Art Circus, a publisher working to increase access to and for local communities.

Included is an article about Holbeck Bonfire and Carnival. Apparently this event was organised to celebrate the end of the Great War in 1918 and the first Bonfire was officially lit by the Lord Mayor Joseph Henry, a man locally known as 'The Uncrowned King of Holbeck'. The event was also a fundraiser for the local Nurses Home and in the first year £90 was raised.

The event was obviously held regularly for some years, the author mentions Amy Johnson lighting the fire one year and at another the bonfire was made up of over 100 pianos donated by local businesses.

There's no indication in the book about what time of year this event took place and neither is there any reference to when, or if, the event ceased. I can't find any reference to it on the internet either, is it still going, has it changed its name? Has anyone out there any more information about it?

Hand stitched on printed fabric by Joyce Maynard (20 hours).

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Civic Pride - Lord Mayors

In the sky above the Civic Hall are the four Lord Mayors in office at the beginning of the project. They were hand painted and stitched by Beverley Silverman

Councillor Keith Loudon, Lord Mayor 1993-4, for part of the project he was a Trustee with the Tapestry.

Councillor Christina Myers, Lord Mayor 1994-5

Councillor Peggy White, Lord Mayor 1995-6.

Councillor Malcolm Bedford, Lord Mayor 1996-7.

The Civic Pride panel was one of the four which didn't have each individual piece scanned before being stitched to the background. Thus apologies that the images are poor. One day perhaps these panels can have the frames taken off to take detailed photographs.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Civic Pride Panel

The Civic Pride panel was begun in 1993 and unveiled 26th February 1999. It represents the Lord Mayor's parade, centred around the Civic Hall and Mandela Gardens.

The fourth panel to be made, it was designed at the time when more and more people were aware of the project, and volunteered not only to sponsor pieces but also to embroider them. The crowd scene allowed for this and included are many people and flags sewn in a variety of techniques.

The volunteers also came with differing sewing experience, so it was the beginning of a series of skill-sharing and workshop sessions. One of the first and simplest was the balloon workshop. Interspersed in the crowd these give colour to the scene and were useful in filling in awkward gaps when the individual pieces were stitched to the background.

Originally the project was based in Kate's kitchen but as it progressed and acquired a larger workspace she booked a wide variety of professional embroiderers to teach at workshops, including goldwork, machine embroidery, rag rugging, needleweaving, computerized machine embroidery and raised work. This also allowed the volunteers to meet regularly and many lasting friendships were made. Some of them still meet once a month at the Tiled Hall. If you would like more details of this and were one of the stitchers please email via 'about me'

Friday, 14 May 2010

Community Spirit - Morris Dancers

Are these the Ladies of Briggate Morris Dancers? Hopefully someone may be able to identify the individuals.

The girl's dancing were hand stitched by Val Gomersal (28 hours) and those waiting for the show to begin were hand and machine stitched by Betty Bertrand (30 hours). The original photograph had dustbins rather than bushes in the foreground; photoshop and french knots and voila not a bin in site.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Community Spirit - May Pole Dancers

Warning, this morning's blog contains very few facts.

Up in the top left corner of the panel is a group of maypole dancers with a huge crowd of parents looking on. I don't know anything about the photograph taken at this event. Was it posed for the Tapestry or from someone's album? Do children still perform this dance in schools?

Just been looking at Wikki and it's suggested there that English Maypole dancing isn't as old as I thought. It was brought to the London stage from Italy in the eighteenth century, became popular in the south of England and then spread when a teacher training college put it into the curriculum.

Presumably the Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole is one of the more traditional type, centuries old.

To the left is one of the Traveller's children on horseback. This is from one of a series of photographs taken at Lee Fair, West Ardsley.

Known - this piece was hand stitched, including french knots, by Pauline Clayden who completed it in 15 1/2 hours on printed fabric.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Community Spirit - Arthur France MBE

Meanwhile, back to the Carnival. This picture is of Arthur France, the founder of the event, with two friends. We haven't a record of who he's with or which year of the Carnival the photograph was taken, so, if he or any of his friends read this, please let us know. There's an interview with him on this site, so I'll let him speak for himself.

Arthur believed that the West Indians, scattered across the country, “needed something to bind us together as people of the Caribbean”. By 1967 the first truly Caribbean carnival in the country, under a black British committee, took place in Leeds. It celebrated its Snow, or carnival queen, danced to the Gay Carnival Steel Band and entertained the city with its procession of fantastic troupes.

In 2009 it's estimated that over 150,000 people attended the three day event which takes place in Chapeltown and Harehills over the August Bank Holiday weekend every year.

In 1997 Arthur France was awarded the MBE for his work with the local community.

The embroidery was hand stitched by Sheila Exley and Jean Nichols on printed fabric (26 hours).

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Local Faces - Jeremy Paxman

An extra post today. I've just been looking in the Evening Post and it's Jeremy Paxman's 60th birthday today. He's on the Local Faces panel so we couldn't let the day go by without wishing him HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Born in Leeds and brought up in Worcestershire, Jeremy was educated at Malvern College and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He began his career as a journalist covering Northern Ireland. After three years in Belfast he moved to London where, between 1978 and 1985, he was a reporter for Tonight and then Panorama. He's principally known as the anchorman of Newsnight, a role he has had since 1990. Since 1994 he has also been the presenter of University Challenge. His numerous books include the 1990 bestseller Friends in High Places: Who Runs Britain?, Fish, Fishing and the Meaning of Life (1994) and The English (1998). Extract from our database in 2000.

As well as being vice-chairman of the Wild Trout Trust conservation charity he's a Leeds United fan, so hopefully he's a happy bunny today.

Hand stitched on printed fabric by Myra Turner (3 1/2 hours).

Community Spirit Panel

This panel represents The Leeds Festival, instigated by Arthur France and originating in Chapeltown. The colorful procession winds down the road with fireworks in the distance and on either side of the road are many and varied community groups looking on.

Collecting images was probably more time consuming than on any of the other panels. Unlike the Civic Pride panel the people here are real and even when groups had expressed interest in being represented (over 1,000 community groups were approached by letter), there was then the lengthy process of getting suitable photographs of their members at events.

Jan Wells, free-lance photographer and video maker, worked with many individuals and groups to produce images of themselves authentically. Martin Banks and Paul Wilkinson were also hired to attend and record other community events. Other photographs were given by the groups themselves or by volunteers already with the Tapestry.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Community Spirit - Louise Read

In the early 1990s Louise took up the challenge set by Leeds City Council to undertake a project on the theme of making the most of retirement. After a lifetime of making clothes for her five children she staged three fashion shows with garments made by herself, with a bias towards clothing for the larger woman of the older generation. A farmer's daughter from Jamaica, Louise was one of 20 children, and came to England in 1955, followed one by one by her children who she has single-handedly put through college or university.

One of her greatest delights was being interviewed by Richard Whiteley after one of her fashion shows.

Photograph taken by Jan Wells.

Sheila Exley was awarded 2nd prize in Arts & Crafts section of North Seacroft Garden show in 2000 for this embroidery, hand stitched on printed fabric (20 hours to complete).

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Enterprise Panel

When the Enterprise panel was started, in 1993, along with the Legal and Financial Panels, the project had a series of empty shops or office buildings in the recently refurbished Victoria Quarter to use as a showroom for the work.

Originally this panel was to represent Leeds as a great shopping centre and a 24 hour city, the design concentrating on the Victoria Quarter. Unfortunately not many of the retailers were willing to sponsor pieces, the exceptions being Samuel Taylors, Burton Group (Arcadia) and Harvey Nichols.

Unlike the Local Faces panel where the people are walking down a clearly identifiable street, Albion Place, the Enterprise panel has an amalgam of buildings from around the city. The Hotel Metropole, The Queens and the Market in the foreground; Samuel Taylors, Norwich Union and the Town Hall in the distance.

By the time the panel was ready for construction, the project had moved into the burling room at Armley Mills. Freda Copley, Sue and Sarah Hodgson were the three mainly responsible for putting all the pieces onto the background, finishing off the whole effect with silks and nets, bringing life to the panel.

The panel was unveiled 29 April 1997.

I'm not sure of the quality of images of the individual pieces on this and three other panels. We have huge high quality pre-digital photographs of the whole panels but they were made in the days before we had computers and each individual piece was not scanned.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Sport For All - Billy Bremner (1942-1997)

A sigh of relief from one whose extended family has both Leeds United and Hartlepool season tickets. For the last few seasons Boxing Day, and even once my birthday, have brought 'the family Derby' and the inevitable 'we was robbed'.

Next season Hartlepool stay in Division 1 and Leeds go up.

So, I add Billy Bremner to the blog.

Bremner was born in Stirling in 1942 and after being rejected by Arsenal and Chelsea for being ‘too small’ he joined Leeds in 1959. To quote Leeds United - A Complete Record he was ‘skilful, and his passing, leadership, never-say-die attitude and eye for the goal made him one of the game’s great midfielders’. He led United to 2 league championships, an FA Cup win and 2 Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. Billy Bremner moved from Leeds to Hull City in 1976.

"My family have always been supporters of Leeds United and it was such an honour to stitch Billy Bremner's statue on the Sporting Life panel. Most of my work however, was done on the Leeds in Bloom panel and I was thrilled to see it completed after many hours of work.
I have so enjoyed being involved in the creation of such a magnificent work of art and hope that future generations will enjoy it and that they too will be inspired."
Muriel Gabbitas 2003

Hand stitched on printed fabric, the image had been treated using Photoshop.

Sport For All - Leeds United players

Eirik Bakke (A Norwegian, he currently plays for SK Brann)

Olivier Dacourt (born in France he is currently without a club)

Alan Smith (Local lad now playing at Newcastle)

David Batty (Local lad, retired 2004)

Lucas Radabe (used to play for the Kaiser Chiefs - hence the name of our local band, named in his honour)

Today Leeds United fans find out whether the club get promotion, from league 1 to Championship. Once upon a time life was straight forward and the Leagues were numbered, now I believe, there are two divisions above 1 - Championship and Premier.

When the Sports Panel was planned and the book written (2002) the four players above were still playing for the team in the Premiership League. Since then fortunes have changed, the club was relegated from the Premiership in 2004 and the Championship in 2007.

Apologies to football fans if I've not been accurate - sifting through material as a non football fan is a bit of a nightmare.

Dorothy Wrench, who embroidered these footballers on printed cotton, is a football fan and totally approved of the choice of team members chosen by my then 13 year old son (2000) when she embroidered them. Wonderful socks and not a yellow boot in sight.

Good luck this afternoon Leeds.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Education - Robin and Lesley Dove

"My wife Lesley spotted an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post inviting readers to visit premises in County Arcade, Victoria Quarter where Kate was promoting her unique idea of involving local people in helping to create a tableau of embroidered panels depicting the progress of the City & Borough of Leeds through two thousand years of progress up to the second millennium.

"Lesley took up the invitation to meet Kate, the idea struck a chord and my wife came away with a small piece to stitch for the first panel, this was the beginning of a friendship. Between 1993 and 2002 we visitied a variety of temporary homes the expanding project occupied over the years. We visited Kate's home and offices, Armley Mills and Trinity Church, as I remember.

"The numerous panels we were involved with brought us into contact with many lively and interesting industrious people all committed to the completion of the project. We have enjoyed our years of involvement and we are proud of being part of the project that future generations will admire in awe. "

Robin Dove 2003

Lesley hand stitched the couple on printed fabric, Robin undertook research for the Tapestry.
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