Flood Tapestry

The Flood Tapestry – a stitched story of Storm Desmond

In 2015, Kendal was hit by Storm Desmond, leaving the town flooded – and devastated. At Quaker Tapestry Museum, we decided to form The Flood Tapestry Project – a way of allowing the community to share good human stories to interpret onto a wall hanging, to let go of their inhibitions and let others know their memories of that devastating Saturday night.

Through the project, members of the community came together to celebrate their remarkable resilience. It wasn’t about being an expert stitcher, or having ever done stitching before – it was about the real value in reflecting the impact of big events as a community, rather than as a solitary experience. The idea of coming together to record significant events that have shaped us, in textile form, isn’t a new concept – as revealed by the Bayeux Tapestry. In fact, our very own Quaker Tapestry brought together 4,000 men, women and children and is now a captivating legacy.

We launched the first event in December 2016, where we met in the museum so that everyone had the opportunity to look at the Quaker Tapestry – providing inspiration for the project. We were delighted to welcome so many individuals from the local community into the project, sharing their experiences and expertise, including schools, youth groups, churches, community organisations and other groups. The creation of the wall hanging was facilitated by Donna Campbell, a textile artist commissioned by the Quaker Tapestry Museum.

Over the months, numerous people contributed to the project – regardless of their crafting or artistic ability, as the stories people told were just as valuable to the project. The Flood Tapestry Project was an uplifting, hopeful and rewarding experience for all. It brought our community together in a time when everyone needed it the most. Download the booklet about the project here. Flood Tapestry Booklet

The Flood Tapestry records the voices of those who were affected by the flood and celebrates the remarkable resilience of our community when faced with disaster.

Come along and see it for yourself – The Flood Tapestry is on display in the Meeting Room, Friends Meeting House every Thursday and Saturday 10am to 5pm until the 24th of August 2019.

You can also see the display Monday-Wednesday if the room is not in use (the room is closed Friday lunch time 12noon-2pm and all day Sundays) – there will be a sign displayed in the foyer when it is available to view on these days or you can phone us on the day to check before you set off.

The display is on the ground floor accessible by wheelchair and scooter and those with young children, prams/pushchairs.

The Flood Tapestry will then go on its travels – first to Sandylands Church, from September onward.

Kendal Flood Tapestry A Quaker Tapestry Community Art Project

One comment on “Reflecting on The Flood Tapestry

  1. Linda Murgatroyd on

    I love this project. Great idea and well done for making it happen so beautifully.

    Of course further extreme weather is to be expected with climate breakdown; members of this project may be interested in the Loving Earth Project, another community craft project centred around textiles, which aims to help us to connect more deeply with the challenges of climate break-down and empower us to take action, empowered by love. The first few panels are at Swarthmoor Hall till 8 spetpember, including a few from Quaker Tapestry group members. All are welcome to join this continuing project. @LovingEarthProject

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“We were entranced not only by the Tapestry panels and the social history on display but also by the ambience of the Meeting House, the interpretation and information made available to us. It is a very good memory for us.”

Sutton Coldfield Ladies’ Gardening Club