Minehead panel features in tapestry exhibition

By in Local People

AN exhibition opens tomorrow (Saturday) of 20 tapestry panels one of which was stitched by Minehead Quakers as part of an international project 30 years ago.

The Minehead panel joined 76 others made by people in many countries and the full set is on display in Kendal.

But now 20 of them are coming to Taunton for a special exhibition.

One of the Minehead Quakers involved in the original project was Carhampton resident Faith Cartwright, pictured pointing out the section of the tapestry which she stitched.

“Each Meeting designed their own panel and ours was done by Frank Frisby, a well-known Minehead Quaker at that time, and Siw Wood,” said Faith.

“It depicted one in which Quakers witnessed for peace at that time with a street theatre group going all over the country, including Minehead.”

The work took many months to complete: “As many members of the Meeting as possible contributed by stitching a small part,” said Faith.

“The stitching had to be just right so that it matched all the other ones being made. I still feel proud to have made this very small contribution to what has become a well-known record of Quaker work.”

A photo of the Minehead panel hangs in the Quaker Meeting House in Bancks Street. The original is now part of the permanent exhibition and seen by thousands of people every year.

The idea for the project came from a Taunton Quaker Anne Wynn-Wilson when wondering what to do with the children on Sundays. It expanded to much more than that!

Anne ensured that the designs and materials gave the whole set a consistent look. Children’s drawings were used within many of the designs.

And the cloth was made in Somerset by Church Farm Weavers using colours based on local stones.

The exhibition has been arranged by Temple Methodist Church and Taunton Quaker Meeting. It will be of interest to those who enjoy seeing different styles of needlework and tapestry as well as anyone liking to know more about the Quakers past and present.

It will be in the Temple Methodist Church, Taunton, from May 20 to June 3 and open daily from 10am to 4pm, except Sundays. Entry is free.

Photo: Chris Lawson