I have to write about this fabulous tapestry because I was so taken with it.
It was Sue Payne’s idea; a tapestry to celebrate the last 1000 years of Guernsey’s history in time for the millennium. The project was massive and was broken up into ten panels, each one to represent 100 years. A lot of thought and attention went into what should go onto each century tapestry.
Each parish of Guernsey was assigned the job of one panel and villagers came forward and started to stitch what would be an absolutely mammoth task.
The first stitches were placed in September 1996, the panels travelled the island and islanders would come forward and dedicate their time to the completion of the work and by paying a donation of £1 they received a certificate to commemorate the fact.
Following carefully drawn pictures that were then traced onto the canvas the tapestry was filled in using many different kinds of stitch to give the finished product texture and depth.
The final stitches were sewn in early 1999 after which Sally Parks began the stretching and mounting of the panels. A purpose built gallery was constructed to house them with a £300,000 grant from the States of Guernsey as in february 1999 the Bailiwick of Guernsey MIllennium tapestry was declared as one of the two official Millennium projects. The gallery ensures the textiles are kept in the perfect environment to prevent any deterioration.
You can visit the tapestry in St Peter’s Port and for a small charge (Adults £4.95 – 2013) you will be handed a small radio that tells the history of each panel as you follow them round.
A lover of needlework with a few ready kits under my belt, this tapestry has inspired me to branch out and have a go and trying my own ideas and incorporating different stitches as I go but don’t hold your breath waiting ;)
A special thanks to Condor Ferries for making this all possible for us