Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - Lincoln - Part 1

By guest blogger Pete.

It must be nearly 30 years now since I was teaching in Warminster. Other teachers who read this may either be jealous or angry but being employed in a public school, my summer holiday was approximately nine weeks. That is TOO long. To help me relax my wife taught me how to do cross stitch and embroidery. Very soon I became addicted to this. It doesn't take me very long to become addicted to things, as you may have gathered from this bog.

Shortly after we moved to Lincoln my wife took over a needlecraft shop in the centre of the city. This was the beginning of that period when needlecraft really took off and was so popular with the ladies whilst the gents preferred tapestry. Now Lincoln is a very historic city but there were no cross stitch (or tapestry) designs of the many beautiful historic buildings to be found here. Thus I determined to have a go at designing a cross stitch version of our most important building, the famous Lincoln Cathedral. The design I produced is the photo of the close up view of the front of the cathedral.

During the first Iraq war the American forces took over a disused RAF hospital, in the nearby village of Nocton, and turned it into an emergency receiving area for casualties from that war. Fortunately no casualties arrived but this did mean that the medical staff were bored out of their minds. There's only so much preparation you can do. This boredom lead to a big demand - mainly from the nurses - for the Lincoln Cathedral design. Other citizens in Lincoln as well as tourists discovered it and sales took off. So much so that I, FOOLISHLY, decided to try and make designs for all the cathedrals in England. Now that was TOO ambitious. If any of those Nocton nurses read this blog I'd love to hear from them again.

We restricted the sale of the design to my wife's shop and, although she no longer owns that shop, it is still restricted to sale there and continues to do well.

The second - side on view - design of the cathedral was carried out much later and the chart I designed for that was purposely destroyed so that this picture became truly unique. Others of my designs went on to sell nationally and, sometime, I'll show you some of those.

My burning interest in needlework fell off whilst I was awaiting a cataract operation and never returned with my renewed sight. It must be ten years now since I last did any serious needlework. Perhaps one day !!!!!!!!!!!!"

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