Wendover Remembers Quilted Wallhanging To Form Centre Piece Of Remembrance Day Commemorations

  |  Published: Nov 4th 2015

On 8 November 2015 a stunning Wendover Remembers 1918 – 2018 quilted wallhanging will form the centre piece of the Remembrance Day commemorations when it will be carried through the town of Wendover by local residents before going on display at the Wendover Community Library.

The quilted wall hanging was commissioned by the Wendover Remembers group in collaboration with the Wendover Parish Council, it was designed and made by members of the Wendover Sewing Bee, a community sewing group, run by Deb McGuire of local Sewing School PlainStitch, with lots of help from a huge spectrum of local residents aged between 5-95 years. 

The central blocks were designed to depict stories from the village of Wendover during the First World War surrounded by a spectacular sea of over 140 hand sewn poppies. Each individual poppy was made by children from local schools The John Hampden School and Wendover Church of England Junior School, and elderly residents of local Wendover care home AppleTrees and includes their embroidered initials to allow the sewers to locate their individual poppy in the future.

Working closely with the Wendover Remembers group who have been researching and documenting town life during the First World War, the Sewing Bee gathered stories from a range of local groups. All three Church denominations, the Art Group and the RAF Museum and Archive shared their knowledge of this period in Wendover’s history and their rich ideas and images were turned into designs that could be made in fabric. There was a wealth of source material including many evocative pictures of the town from the era and even the local school roll book for the period which enabled us to explore how children lived through the war and its impact on their daily lives. 

The quilt features blocks, each depicting a different element of Wendover’s history. These include pictures showing cricket stumps with no-man’s land behind to depict the infamous cricket game abandoned on the announcement of war that sunny Sunday August afternoon 100 years ago. We also depicted the visit of the Bishop of Northampton to Wendover to lead a Mass, the creation of the (still called) Halton Camp RAF base and showed it when it was still a canvas ‘camp’ and the bell from St Marys Church which was removed and replaced during the war. We were keen to show how life was affected to help children today to relate to how it would have felt in that time. The ‘GROW’ block shows how children in the local school dug up their playground to grow vegetables to give to Belgian refugee children who were settled and schooled nearby. We also refer to local farmers (the mainstay of employment in Wendover in that time) who suffered a shortage of machinery and metal to make machinery as the war effort drained resources from the countryside.

All of the fabrics used in the quilt were donated by Sewing Bee members and generous interested members of the public.

The Wendover Remembers community sewing event was inspired by Get Creative. Get Creative is a major celebration of the nation's arts, culture and creativity. Led by BBC ARTSand What Next?, the campaign aims to highlight the central role that creativity plays in people’s lives, to celebrate the millions of people who are already doing something creative and encourage others to take part.

Organiser of the Wendover Sewing Bee and owner of the PlainStitch Workroom, Debs McGuire said:

“We were delighted to be asked by our Parish Council to create such a special quilt that remembers our town during the First World War. We took the joy of sewing and creating out into our local community and had a wonderful time. We sewed with children aged under 7, with bigger children up to age 11 and with some wonderful older ladies at our village residential home.

It showed the power of creativity in reaching out within a community and bringing diverse groups together. We had fun, they had fun, we shared a sewing experience and we all went home richer. It's what social sewing is about. I could not be prouder of the members of the Sewing Bee and everyone who helped to create such a special quilt. It will be a very proud moment to see the quilt carried through our village as part of the Remembrance Day commemorations this year…and each year as we approach the 2018 anniversary.” 


The Remembrance Parade will start at 2.00pm on Sunday 8th November 2015 at Wendover Manor Waste.

To find out more about the Wendover Remembers Project contact Debs McGuire on 07903 743293 or email debs@plainstitch.co.uk

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