Quaker Tapestry facsimiles go on display

The Botanists panel.

Facsimiles of 11 of the panels of famous Quaker Tapestry are on display at  Bainbridge Meeting House on September 23rd, 26th and 30th alongside details of how several relate to the history of Wensleydale and Swaledale.

The facsimiles have been lent by the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal where 40 of the 77 original embroidered panels are always on display as part of a revolving exhibition.

The tapestry tells the story of the Society of Friends (Quakers) covering over 350 years of social history: from the scientific and industrial revolutions to social reform and the abolition of slavery. Quakers in Wensleydale and Swaledale have played their part in this since the mid 17th century.

From when it was founded around 1650 by George Fox the Society of Friends has encouraged both girls as well as boys to be educated and this is illustrated in the Education panel. This can also be seen from the records of Dales’ Quaker Trusts (now the Wensleydale and Swaledale Quaker Trust)  and the foundation of Reeth School. In 1778.

Two of the facsimiles concern conscientious objectors and how many of them served with the Friends Ambulance Unit. One of those was Peter Leyland of Bainbridge who was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery as an ambulance driver on the front line during World War I.

One of those remembered on the Botanists panel is J Backhouse, whose son James,designed the Edwardian Rock Garden at Aysgarth.

The exhibition at Bainbridge Meeting House can be viewed from 11am to 3pm on the three open days. All are invited to have a cup of coffee or tea, get to know the stitches used on the original panels and even have a go at creating a panel themselves.