Aylsham Evening WI create embroidered map to mark 100 years of town’s waterway closure

A group of nimble-fingered embroiderers from Aylsham have produced an illustrated map of the town's navigation route.

Aylsham Evening Women's Institute (WI) have spent months creating the map originally drawn by Michael Sparkes of the Norfolk Wherry Trust in the 1980s.

The embroidery will be presented to the town today (Thursday) as part of a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the town's waterway closure due to flood damage on August 26, 1912.

Bure Navigation Conservation Trust (BNCT) chairman, Stuart Wilson, and original designer Mr Sparkes will be presenting the map to Eileen Springall, chairman of Aylsham Town Council, at Aylsham Town Hall later tonight.

Mr Wilson said: 'This embroidery is a remarkable piece of work that demonstrates the skill and dedication of WI members. It is a fitting tribute to them but also as a memorial to the past glory of the Aylsham navigation which saw wherries trading to and from Aylsham for well over 100 years.

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'This piece of work will stand as a lasting testament both to those who made it and to the navigation and the wherries that traded on it.'

The embroidery also marks the Aylsham Evening WI's 90th anniversary and will go on display at the Aylsham Heritage Centre.

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? The BNCT is a newly founded charity dedicated to conservation and preservation of the history, flora and fauna on what was the navigable Bure between Coltishall and Aylsham. For more information visit aylsham-navigation.norfolkparishes.gov.uk or ring Mr Wilson on 01603 279510 or 07867 527682 or email stu.wilson100@btinternet.com.

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