A Travellerspoint blog

Wednesday 16 May to Friday 18 May

More good fortune

rain 9 °C

Yesterday afternoon/evening was a long drive from York to Great Malvern..however, I stopped for dinner at a well-designed service station/series of restaurants which includegetting from earls court to chelsea flower showd services like ATMs, phones, toilets, a news agency, choice of four restaurants, games machines and a mobile phone shop!

By now, the girl in the GPS and I have a good working relationship AND she has a name ... I call her Georgina Potters-Smithington (or GPS for short). She is VERY British and polite. The drive from York was mainly on Motorways and I think she actually fell asleep with nothing to do for several hours! We are getting on very well now, although today she could not find the a Three Counties Showground so I had to buy a local map. Very disappointing .... but she didn't listen to my pleas or abuse!

Leaving the Rosehill Hotel at Burnley was a little sad and emotionally difficult, as I had such adventures in Burnley. Tuesday night was very busy in the Dining Room when I arrived ...... had to book a sitting for a table!!!!! The hotel was full. At breakfast the next morning I was to discover why ....... The Queen was visiting Burnley at 11 o'clock as part of the 60th Diamond Jubilee. That's amazing; because in 1977 when Alan and I were in York, the Queen was to visit York as part of her 25th Jubilee and in 2004 when I was in Westminster Abbey, she arrived through a side entrance as I was walking around the inside perimeter upstairs!!! Good luck or good planning. I had no idea she was going to be in Burnley but the locals were really excited. It turns out that the Royal Speechwriter and Royal Photographer were staying in the Rosehill Hotel as were loads of BBC and other reporters. As I was driving to Gawthorpe on Wednesday morning, I went past one of the venues Her Majesty was to stop at and there were police and Royal Guards everywhere. The guards were practicing marching!!!

I was booked into a whole cloth North County quilt workshop at historic Gawthorpe Hall on the other side of Burnley. It took a while to locate it as it was hidden in its own grounds behind well-treed woods and GPS took me to the housing estate next door as I typed in the post code of Gawthorpe Hall and there were two driveways and guess who took the wrong one! The workshop was held in what used to be the hay and stock building. Thick stone walls and pebbled floor in the common areas but a warm room with a flat carpeted floor in the sewing room. The teacher was Jean and I sat with Denise and Margaret. There werethen ladies in the class and Jean had provided me with the requirements to save me bringing them with me. She talked about the history of whole cloth quilting, the style, the shapes, the reasons why whole cloth quilts are peculiar to the North Country then gave us some patterns to draw on to the cloth and design our own pattern for a small wall hanging. It was fun and, because I won't be there for Part 2 next Wednesday, Jean showed me how to quilt using the 'rocking' method. I will have a nice project for Tuesday nights sewing to finish it off. I took a photo of the group before Denise and Margaret wanted to leave early as The Queen were to visit their town at 3:30!!!!!! I used my National Trust pass to view inside Gawthorpe Hall itself and there was a special event there that afternoon and some of the rooms that are not normally open to the public were open ...... including the kitchen. It was a real upstairs/downstairs environment with a four storey winding staircase from the kitchen to the top floor.

Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside the building. I was there to view the textile and needlework collection of Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth. She is known by everyone at Gawthorpe Hall as Miss Rachel and the centenary of her 'vision' is being celebrated this year. Her vision was that Gawthorpe and it's buildings should become a place for the pursuit of crafts and needlework.

There was display case after display case of needlework tools, embroidery from all over the world that Miss Rachel had collected during her life. It was breathtaking and I felt so privileged to be there to view it.

The following day was my visit to study the quilts in the collection with the curator ... Gail Marsh. Gail is a very talented person. She has written three books on Embroidery, from 18th, 19 th and 20 th Centuries. The latter having only recently been published. Gail had prepared for my visit by getting the relevant boxes of quilts from the storage area and preparing four huge tables so that the quilts could be spread out to study. So, from 10 am until 3:30pm, It was like being in heaven. I studied 15 quilts from the collection, taking photographs and taking detailed notes. Gail and I had lunch together in a little kitchen behind her office. It took a lot of preparation for my study visit here and the study visit at Norwich but I am so appreciative of such an opportunity to further my knowledge of historic British Quilts. I also was the helper for the day .... refolding and putting the quilts back in their tissue and boxes. Gail is such a dedicated curator and passionate about her work and we got on so well it was hugs all round when I had to leave Gawthorpe. I will treasure these two days forever.

Thank you for reading this installment.
love Lyn xxx

Posted by Lyn Dennis 15:35 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged queen hall quilts burnley gawthorpe rachel-kay-shuttleworth north-county-

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