Beds, Herts & Bucks

Royston Tapestry stitched over 25 years to go on tour

The Royston Tapestry Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption The Royston Tapestry depicts 15 scenes from the Hertfordshire town's history

A tapestry which took 25 years to complete has been seen by 2,000 people within a week of going on display.

The 80ft (24.5m) long Royston Tapestry was made entirely by volunteers and illustrates 15 scenes from the Hertfordshire town's history.

Using the same methods as the Bayeux Tapestry, the first stitch was in July 1993 and the last in October 2018.

Curator Madeline Odent said the tapestry had received an "overwhelmingly positive response".

Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption The first stitch was placed by museum curator Jane Vincent in 1993

The tapestry was the vision of former Royston Museum curator Jane Vincent who first thought of the idea in 1989.

After enlisting the skills of local people and receiving donations, the first stitch was placed by Mrs Vincent on 1 July 1993.

Peter Ketteringham created the frame on which the tapestry was embroidered and each scene was hard-drawn by artists Danni Kaye and Martin Kaszak.

The scenes depict "the historic lives of everyday people and communities" across hundreds of years.

Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption The names of volunteers have been embroidered on backing panels

There have been six different curators since the project began and more than 50 embroiderers worked on the tapestry.

On 29 October 2018 the final stitch was made by museum assistant Amy Judd.

A team then prepared the tapestry for display, fitting backing panels to protect the delicate stitching.

The tapestry has been on show at Royston Town Hall and will be taken on the road at a later date.

Ms Odent said the aim was for a number of small museums to show different scenes from the tapestry as it is too large for one space.

"We're really thrilled to deliver the tapestry and we are so glad we can get it out where people can see it," she said.

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