Bunting for the Kearsney Parks
About 150 parents, grandparents and their children spent some valuable making time together embellishing a few lengths of Dover’s woolly bunting with leaf and flower motifs. The bunting was originally made and hung across the town to welcome the Olympic Torch to Dover in 2012.
For Bev Williams, who facilitated the workshop at the Kearsney Parks Farm and Forest Day with help from Alison Trelfer and extra help from Wendy, the experience was an opportunity to extend her emerging practice as a textile artist:
… the two year old sewing patiently, the people who, when intending to walk past asked politely what we were doing, and on explaining we were recycling the Olympic bunting to be used the Abbey at a future date, then sat down with us for half an hour. The autistic boy who sat down with his grandma and sewed a wonderful maple leaf and told me how many stitches he had sewed. The two sisters near the end is the day, who both made beautiful flags and then asked if they could do another one. The children waiting patiently for Ally and myself to give them our attention. The groups sitting on the picnic blankets, sewing and chatting. The chatter of the children, and no squabbling or arguments. The parents, helping the children to sew. The Kearsney project manager, sitting, sewing a leaf shape. The realisation of just how many people we had visiting our project and that we embellished almost two lengths of bunting. Most importantly, the camaraderie developing from an interest in DAD initiated projects. Had it not been for the Voyagers project or indeed the WW1 bunting workshops, the Olympic bunting might not have been revived. A big thanks to Ally for giving up a day from her summer holidays to work with the children and also thanks to Clare, Joanna and Wendy for giving up a considerable amount of time to the project.
Alison found the whole day to be “a really positive and enjoyable experience. Everyone who visited the gazebo were really positive and excited to be taking part. Positives for me – success of the day, a two year old sewing, working with Bev, Clare and Joanna, parental involvement and support of children, engagement of the participants, the thought that the bunting is being recycled (lots of people were impressed with this) and the link with what we were sewing on the bunting and the abbey and gardens. Negative for me – not having the chance to visit anything else going on. A fantastic day all round.”
Our new DAD banner, designed by Edda Jones, came into its own and will play a key role in our new marketing strategy supported by Jessica Wood.
Over the next year, more lengths of bunting will be embellished with motifs relating to the Parks’ heritage and the new “Kearsney bunting” will be then be hung to coincide with the Olympic Games in Rio.
The Kearsney Parks Farm and Forest Day on 7 August 2015 was organised by Dover District Council as part of their £3m heritage lottery funding bid to the Parks for People programme.
Photos by Clare Smith.