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Wartime memories stitch by stitch

Members of the Embroiderers Guild have been producing a wall hanging commemorating the Great War, which is to be handed to the Heaugh Gun Battery. Pictured working on th piece are, from left, Hilary Blenkinsop, Sue Cheslin and Marie Adams.

Members of the Embroiderers Guild have been producing a wall hanging commemorating the Great War, which is to be handed to the Heaugh Gun Battery. Pictured working on th piece are, from left, Hilary Blenkinsop, Sue Cheslin and Marie Adams.

A TALENTED team of super stitchers have created a wartime wall hanging for a Hartlepool tourist attraction.

The Hartlepool branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild has spent a mammoth eight months creating the 8ft by 3ft historical mount to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.

And after the final touches have been added to the work of art, it will be handed over to the Heugh Gun Battery on Hartlepool’s Headland, where it will adorn the walls for visitors from across the country to see and admire.

The idea was the brainchild of chairman of the Guild Sue Cheslin, 56, who has been a member for about eight years.

The mum-of-four and grandmother-of-two, from Clarkson Court, off Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, said: “We had a committee meeting last November and we decided to do a project with the members.

“I wanted something that everybody could work on so we decided because of the centenary coming up we would make a wall hanging for the Heugh Battery.

“We did a lot of research and went along and spoke to the people from the battery to see if they would want it.

“They were really interested and said they would like it as part of their permanent collection.

“There is a lovely big space to hang it in the main room as you walk in, and it will be above some regimental silver.”

Sue said the almost-finished article was “well worth a look” and said all of the 26 members – aged from 30 to over 70 – who have worked on the project are delighted and proud of their work.

Stitch by stitch, the women have embroidered images of bombed houses, soldiers, maps of Hartlepool, the names of soldiers who were killed, badges, ships and an image of St Hilda’s Church. Some of the sections are actually 3D as well.

Sue said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s been really time-consuming and we’ve been working on it for eight months now.

“Twenty-six members had individual pieces to work on, and then throughout the process we’ve had people working on it full-time and part-time, and for the last three weeks there have been seven of us stitching everyday.

“We’ve been stitching from about 10am until lunch-time, then from early afternoon until tea-time, and then from about 6.30pm until 
9pm when the light starts to fade.”

She added: “There has been a lot of dedication and I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of everyone involved.”

 

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