The Textile Social History project aims to encourage people to talk about their textile memories, whether that be a treasured item of clothing, photographs of a favourite outfit or related memorabilia such as a button box – and also to contribute to a community exhibition.
The project began in 2011 when the North Shields Branch of The Embroiderers’ Guild successfully applied for a small grant from Age UK.
Following initial discussions in Monkseaton and North Shields libraries, a small group of five ladies began meeting regularly to discuss their own textile memories. They in turn contacted other interested people and arranged meetings to gather recollections.
Items such as wedding dresses, hand-embroidered cloths or a beaded tea cosy given as a wedding present were photographed and decisions were made as to which items would be most suitable for exhibition. As a result, during ‘Age Takes Centre Stage 2012’, a very successful stewarded three day exhibition took place in Whitley Bay library.
This year, an expanded exhibition was taken to The Rothbury Vintage Fair and then back to the new Whitley Bay Library between 7th and 12th July.
Who knows what will happen next? Are you interested in taking this further? You can contact Sheila by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0191 253 0952. Please let us have your memories!
by Sheila Craig