Exhibition showcases periods of Bungay’s history through ancient and modern textiles
- Credit: Nick Butcher
An exhibition of ancient and modern needlework and textiles has been on display in Bungay.
Organised at St Mary's Church by the Friends group with the support of the Bungay tourism committee, the display included a wide range of work from as far back as the 17th century to the modern work of the Bungay Embroidery group which meets regularly at St Mary's.
The earliest item was a well preserved sampler made by the female ancestors of John Barber Scott (1792 to 1862), a Bungay philanthropist who was Town Reeve six times.
Colourfully ornate clergy vestments loaned by St Edmund's Roman Catholic Church adorned the north aisle altar area, while a highlight of the exhibition, which came to a close today, was a display of embroidery completed by nuns at the All Hallows Embroidery School which was based at the convent at Ditchingham, founded in 1855. They established a needlework centre there and embroidered vestments and altar frontals which were sent all over the world.
Embriodered banners and other works from local churches could be seen, and a notable part of the exhibition featured silk items from silk made at the former silk factory at Ditchingham during the 19th century.
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Visitors were also able to admire the work of Bungay textile artist and teacher Mary Walker and her team, which has created several fine works on display in the town. They include an impressive five-panel wall hanging featuring the stages of development of St Mary's Church, from the original priory built in 1160, now on permanent display there.
A display on work done by the current Town Reeve, Mary Sprake, for her MA on textile culture, and another on the work of the Norwich Cathedral Broderers Guild were other aspects of the exhibition, which also included two depictions in embroidery of The Last Supper.
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At the preview evening last Friday the guest speaker was Jane Rowton-Lee, a lace expert, exhibitor and international judge, whose illustrated talk, Nature's Inspirations, included many examples of the world class lace items she has created. It also included different styles, techniques and skills used in lace making.