Stitching Community and Making History
In just three months 282 residents from the parish of Brailsford and Ednaston have worked together to create an enormous 10.85-meter-long narrative embroidery inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry to celebrate the coronation of HM King Charles III.
The project was the concept of Brailsford and Ednaston Churches Together who commissioned Laura Burrill, a local Textiles Historian and Community Arts Practitioner, to design the embroidery and facilitate the delivery of the project alongside a team of enthusiastic and talented volunteers.
The embroidery depicts an imagined scene of the Coronation Day. King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Archbishop of Canterbury take centre stage, flanked by a procession of community groups streaming from recognisable community landmarks. This central story is then surrounded by over 400 embroidered and decorated squares created by parishioners at workshops held in the village.
Laura said ‘This project has been heart-warming and humbling. Participants willingness to step out of their comfort zones and try something new or share their time, experience and knowledge has meant that together we have created something far beyond our wildest dreams’.
Organisers of the project had hoped to create a hanging of approximately 5 meters long, with the border made up of 100 community produced squares. But enthusiasm was so high they received an incredible 406 squares in total, resulting in a banner more than twice its anticipated length.
The project has had a positive effect on the community, Laura commented, ‘I have witnessed disparate parts of our changing and expanding community come together, neighbourly disputes resolved, mental health issues relieved, loneliness diminish, new friendships made and old friendships rekindled. With participants as young as 2 and as wise as 94, knowledge, skills and stories have been shared between multiple generations, we have learned from each other and become more connected with the place we live.’
An unveiling ceremony was held at The Church of All saints and attended by the Bishop of Derby Rt. Rev. Libby Lane, who also embroidered a square for the work which includes her official seal and signature. The embroidery was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mrs Elizabeth Fothergill CBE with the help of six local children.
The Brailsford Bayeux has been on display in various locations across the village over recent weeks. Plans are now being made for the Brailsford Bayeux to go on tour at various locations throughout the county. The planning team welcome organisations to contact them if they are interested in displaying the work.