Reflecting on The 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.
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 may be able to see the display Monday-Wednesday, but only if the room is not in use (the room is closed on Fridays and Sundays) – there will be a sign displayed in the foyer when it is available to view on these days or you can ring 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.