Funding snag hits Berwick tapestry plans

Plans to create a tapestry illustrating Berwick over the 1,000 years since the defining Battle of Carham in 1018 have been thrown into doubt.

Friday, 22nd September 2017, 08:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 14:19 pm
A panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland depicting the Battle of Carham.

The project has been proposed by Tweed 1000 as the flagship project of Berwick’s contribution to the anniversary commemorations next summer.

However, its grant application for £10,900 from Berwick Town Council was deferred after members expressed concerns about the cost.

The project’s costs are estimated at £12,000. Berwick Chamber of Trade has committed £1,000 and there has been a £100 private donation.

David Blackburn, who is helping to co-ordinate the plan, admitted: “Our expectations may need to be downgraded.”

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Stephen Scott, sectretary of Tweed 1000, had told members how the Battle of Carham created the Tweed borderline between Scotland and England, which led to centuries of conflict during which period Berwick played a central role in Anglo-Scottish affairs.

“Tweed 1000 is all about commemorating and celebrating Berwick,” he said. “The tapestry would involve the community, schools and give people a real sense of achievement. It will also have an educational aspect.”

Skilled artists from 56 Degrees North, Creative Studios, are on board to help supervise the tapestry project.

Coun Hazel Bettison said she supported the principle of the project but expressed concern that artists were being paid when there were lots of volunteers in the community capable of doing it.

But Jacqueline Hart, chairman of 56 Degrees North, responded: “It’s not to pay artists a fee for making the tapestry. There are a lot of stitching groups and artists in Northumberland and we will make use of as many as we can. The funds are to pay artists to go into schools and hold workshops.”

Members called for more information but indicated they would not fund the requested amount.

Carham already has plans in place, including a battle re-enactment, on July 7-8, 2018.