VIDEO: Berwick tapestry is unveiled

A new tapestry chronicling 1,000 years of Berwick’s history as a border town has been unveiled.

By Ian Smith
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019, 09:47

The Duke of Northumberland and Earl Home did the honours in a ceremony in Berwick’s new visitor centre on Walkergate on Monday.

The Duke said: “It’s a considerable feat of needlework, hard work and co-operation of which you should be justifiably proud.”

The Duke of Northumberland, the Earl of Home and some of those attending the unveiling of the Berwick Tapestry. Picture by Jane Coltman

Earl Home added: “Enormous credit must go to the people of Berwick and I hope it will encourage people to come here in even greater numbers than they do at present.”

Berwick’s history as a border town began in 1018 with the Battle of Carham which resulted in the Scottish Border being pushed down to the River Tweed.

The Tweed 1000 project was set up to commemorate this anniversary with the ambition to create a lasting legacy by producing a tapestry to celebrate 1,000 years of Berwick’s history, designed and stitched as a community project.

Anne Wadey, who co-ordinated the stitching work alongside Jo Hart, said: “It’s been stitched by hundreds of people from Berwick and also visitors to the town.

The Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Home at the unveiling of the Berwick Tapestry. Picture by Jane Coltman

“Every stitcher chose their own technique. Some wanted to stay safe, others wanted to experiment.

“We’ve had contributors from age three up to 99 which is fabulous.”

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Designer Tanya Willis said: “My job was to find a way of telling the stories; some of great importance and some of lesser importance which still needed to be there and arranging them in a way in which they had impact from a distance but also on closer inspection.

“The quality of the work is quite incredible so I encourage people of the community to come and have a look. It’s our tapestry.”

Tweed 1000 chairman Dave Blackburn. Picture by Jane Coltman

A separate design depicting the importance of the salmon industry has been made by local children.

Dave Blackburn, chairman of Tweed 1000, thanked all those who had been involved in the project.

It has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Tesco Bags for Help and a number of other local organisations.

“The tapestry was the unique element of the Tweed 1000 project and to be a lasting legacy,” said Mr Blackburn. “It’s a tapestry created by the people for the people. It’s a true community project.”

Middle school pupils with the Eartl of Home and the Duke of Northumberland at the unveiling of the Berwick Tapestry. Picture by Jane Coltman

Viewings of the tapestry will be arranged for all community groups which have helped to create it.

The general public will be able to see the tapestry when the Berwick Visitor Centre opens its doors in time for Easter.