As we enter a new year, we look back at 2022, the year that we achieved our goal of creating a textile map of our community commemorating our late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We have celebrated many events in the past, but this was our biggest challenge since celebrating the Millennium.

The idea of creating a map from textiles came from Lin Welch. Her sister-in-law, who lives near Swindon, had helped create a textile map of her community and suggested to Lin that it would be a good idea to create one here. She also knew that Lin’s sewing and artistic skills would be needed to create the backdrop for all the homes to be sewn onto.

We held a coffee morning in the chapel to put the idea to everyone and we were really pleased with the enthusiasm shown. The only stipulation for everyone when creating homes for the map, was that they all had to be made using textiles. The artistic talents of members of our community showed in the different methods used to depict their homes, these included cross stitch, collage, embroidery, knitting and painting on material. We have to thank Angela Hayden and Andrea Wolf who both helped us to create homes for people who weren’t able to.

The map includes all Bailey Lane End and extends as far as the Lea Bailey Gold Mine, Sparrows Corner, The Wonky Donkey and Lea Bailey as far as Lea Bailey Farm.

Our aim was to complete the map by the end of the Jubilee year. It has been given pride of place in the schoolroom of our chapel. It has been framed, covered in perspex and fitted with a light above, and for this we must thank Malcolm Hatton and Jim Morgan. We achieved our goal by unveiling the map at our Christmas Carol Service. The service was very well attended, considering the very snowy weather conditions.

We are very proud of the map, not only for how lovely it looks, but for how it shows the great spirit we have here in our community. It is well worth a look.

Angela Mayo