Royston Tapestry completed after nearly 30 years’ work
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
The final stitch has been placed on the Royston Tapestry, nearly 30 years after work began.
The tapestry has been created by Royston’s district museum, where assistant Amy Judd placed the final stitch of the tapestry on Thursday last week.
Madeline Odent, the curator and manager of the museum, said: “We’re so excited to be moving forward with the Royston Tapestry. So much skill, passion and expertise has gone into the work: it is truly a labour of love.”
The tapestry was first conceived in 1989, by then-curator Jane Vincent. Planning began in earnest in 1991, with the first stitch placed on July 1, 1993. The tapestry – although technically an embroidery – is based on the famous Bayeux Tapestry, with 15 scenes spread over a continuous, 24-metre long length of linen.
Each scene, drawn by local artists Danni Kaye and Martin Kaszak, depicts an important period from Royston’s history.
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After copying the scenes onto the linen with pencil, embroiderers picked out the intricate stitches in crewel wool.
Led by stitch co-ordinators Christina Renwick and former curator Carole Kaszak, more than 30 embroiderers have lent their skill to the masterpiece.
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In summer 2019, the museum will unveil the entire tapestry to the town.
The community will get to enjoy and interact with the project while it is on display in Royston Town Hall.
Following the reveal, the tapestry will be hosted by other museums around the country.
Local heritage sites will have the opportunity to display scenes particularly relevant to their communities.
As this ‘grand tour’ takes place, Royston’s museum will construct a suitable, long-term display gallery for the piece.
The tapestry will then be welcomed to its permanent home in Royston at the same time the Bayeux Tapestry returns to England.
Now, the museum is looking for more volunteers, of all ages and abilities, to prepare the tapestry for display. Some supplies are also necessary, and donations in kind are welcome.
The completed embroidery needs to have a new border applied, and a sturdy lining constructed and attached. Sewers, embroiderers, and general volunteers of all skill levels are invited to join the Tapestry Volunteers to work on this stage of the project.
“The tapestry belongs to the community of Royston, and we need the community’s help to prepare it for display,” Madeline added. For more information, and to sign up to help, head to www.roystonmuseum.org.uk/tapestry-project.