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Brandon tapestry unveiled – with help from one of Kate Middleton’s dressmakers

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Villagers are celebrating the unveiling of a tapestry they have created depicting the history and buildings of Brandon.

And as well as using their own considerable skills for the work, they were helped by a woman who worked on the wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

A group known as the Brandon Broiderers, led by Joy Stanton, worked for months with children from Wolston St Margaret’s Primary School. Their work is now on display at Wolston Village Hall, having been unveiled by Rugby Mayor Cllr Tony Gillias.

Joy, who lives in Brandon and is chair of the local history group, said: “I was inspired by a textile I saw at Stretton-on-Dunsmore and thought it would be nice to create something for the local community.”

She talked with two other women from the history group, Lyn Warner, a designer who planned the finished textile, and Margaret Annetts.

Some 18 women from nearby villages contributed, each completing one section, with the Warwickshire Leader Group provided funding of £3,550.

Wolston St Margaret’s Primary School agreed to help and year 5 children produced several shields depicting a Wolston coat of arms.

Joy contacted Rugby Art Gallery for the name of two former Wolston residents, Caroline and Sarah Homfray, who run Twin Needles in Surrey. Caroline worked on lace for the Duchess of Cambridge’s and agreed to help and came to Wolston to organise workshops.

Workshop venues included local village halls, Wolston Leisure Centre and Brandon Hall Hotel.

Local residents were asked to an open day viewing of the almost completed textile to place a stitch on the viaduct.

Wolston Parish Council chairman Tim Harvey-Smith assisted with the unveiling.

He said: “I was taken back when I saw this beautiful work of art for the community.”

Cllr Gillias added: “All the many hours and hard work the ladies have spent on it is an inspiration to the community.”

The success of the textile has resulted in a visitors leaflet, designed by Lyn Warner, being produced explaining the historical sites in the locality.

Unfortunately one of the women involved on the project, Avril Moore, 80, of Stretton-on-Dunsmore, died in November 2012.

 

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