Tapestry project brought to book

The Battle of Stamford Bridge Tapestry is attracting international attention.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge Tapestry is attracting international attention.

The Stamford Bridge Tapestry Project, which has been underway for nearly three years, has attracted attention from two international magazines.

The team at the heart of the project has also been asked to write a book about the major undertaking.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge Tapestry is attracting international attention.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge Tapestry is attracting international attention.

The publication will chart the progress of the project and show other organisations how to create this type of tapestry.

The book will be complete when the work is finally finished and document the project from the beginning to the very end.

Planning for the community needlecraft project, commemorating the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 in stitched panels, began back in March 2015.

The first stitches were worked in September 2015 and the core group of stitchers has steadily increased.

There are now around 20 people working on the panels at this moment in time.

Like the Bayeux Tapestry, the work is actually an embroidery, stitched in Appletons crewel wool on linen twill.

The group use only two stitches, outline stitch and Bayeux stitch, and nine colours, plus small amounts of red and purple for the two kings involved.

It was designed in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry by Chris Rock, former chairman of the Battle of Stamford Bridge Heritage Society.

Heather Cawte, a spokeswoman for the project, said: “The team has been featured in Stitch magazine and we will be in the American-based publication Medieval Warfare, which is bringing out a 1006 special. The work has also been in a number of other magazines and on radio and TV programmes.

“We have been approached to write a book about the tapestry. The first part of it will be about how we set up the project so people can find out how to start their own.

“We also want to include colour pictures of each panel with a description underneath so readers can see the entire tapestry.

“Obviously we can’t publish the book until the work is finished and the last panel photographed.

“The group would welcome anyone who would like to join the project.

“Most of us were fairly inexperienced embroiderers when we began.

“Thanks to our mentor, Shirley Smith, we are now producing work of a standard far higher than we ever expected. Several of us have joined the Embroiderers’ Guild and two of us are busy with our Stage 2 City and Guilds in Hand Embroidery.

“Although most of us did not know each other when we began, the project has drawn us into a friendly, supportive group which enjoys meeting and creating together.

“We are determined to complete the tapestry to the highest standard possible, not only as a national treasure, but as a lasting memorial to our friend Tom Wyles, who sadly died in February 2016.

“Tom had the original idea for the project, and we are continuing with it as he would have wished.”

The project team meets every Wednesday morning between 9.30am and noon at the Sheltered Homes Community Centre, King’s Garth, Stamford Bridge.

The team is always on the lookout for new members and anyone interested will be made most welcome.