There is a little gem hidden away in the Village Hall. It is in the Meeting Room and is a Wall Hanging lovingly sewn by a team from the Village commemorating the new millennium. It is our very own Bayeux Tapestry.
If you look carefully you will see all the names of the contributors, great and small reproduced in one or two of the little squares
Here is a history of the project in the words of the ladies of the time:
THE CRONDALL WALL HANGING – SEW 2000
Early in 1999, three friends who live in the village – Bridget Montgomery, Ann Wayre and Bron Puddephatt got together to discuss the possibility of preserving the history of Crondall in the year 2000 with the use of pictorial fabric art.
It was decided that it would be a Wall Hanging, consisting of a central collage depicting the main meeting places and buildings within the village. Around the outside would be 44 x 8-inch squares representing the main clubs, societies and interests which were popular at the end of the twentieth century.
Several meetings were held in the Church Rooms when interested villagers met and listened to the plans. Some of them brought fabrics, some ideas and most walked away clutching their squares with their brains already working things out. We met from time to time to help those who were stuck for inspiration and to praise those whose work was finished. We were astounded with the variety of ideas and skills which were used.
By the beginning of May 1999, Bridget, Bron and Ann had finished the central collage. Ann had created all the buildings greatly helped by some sketches by a local artist John Coleby who lived at The Cedars. The three of us roamed the village matching up the colours of the bricks and tiles in the fabric and pinning tiny notices to each – Crondall Surgery roof dark brown, and don’t forget that the door to the football pavilion is green with glass panes.
We all discovered our special skills. Ann was excellent in creating the buildings and tiny figures, she found that tractors were fine to sew, but the horse and rider trotting past the Church Rooms needed a second go to get it perfect, Bridget liked to be bold in her work and enjoyed doing the Whitebeam tree on the bottom right of the Wall Hanging. She was intent on placing Barley Pound within the picture and the Chinook helicopter necessitated several hurried dashes into her garden to stare heavenwards for correct detail. Bron enjoyed doing the tiny intricate touches, especially the flowers. She had happy connections with the Crondall Entertainers and was determined that a pantomime dame should be included – she is leaning against the wall of the Old Gymnasium which is used by the drama group for rehearsal and scenery painting.
Little touches which must be pointed out are the Choir going into church on a Sunday morning led by John the Cross and with the vicar Reverand Paul Rich bringing up the rear. There is a skein of geese flying over Clare Park house with sheep on the ploughed field, the hanging baskets and brollies are outside the Plume of Feathers inviting diners to sample the excellent fare - don’t miss the wheelie bins standing beside the wall. Down at Crondall Stores, Nippy and Bimmy have planted up their tubs to give a summer display of colour, and below the shop by the Church Rooms, Ann’s horse rider is just off for a gallop at the end of Farm Lane. A game of cricket is in full swing with the bowler raising his arm to throw a spinner. Above them, the Brownies are skipping towards the Village Hall just behind a lady who is going to join in one of the many Adult Education study days – today’s is flower arranging. To the left of the Hall is the Old Gymnasium and part of the children’s recreation ground, it gets quite crowded in the summer. Crondall Primary School has a game of hopscotch in progress, and the children look smart in their red and grey uniforms - Mrs Karen Walker the headteacher must be indoors. The golf course is depicted just above the roof of the school and BUPA Hospital Clare Park is beyond the 18th hole. Bridget’s helicopter is hovering above the war memorial which actually stands in the churchyard. Bron’s flowers represent the thousands of bulbs which have been planted by locals over the past two or three years and make the village look a picture in spring.
Along with the many villagers who took part in the project, the three of us thoroughly enjoyed creating the Wall Hanging, and hope that it will be valued for many years to come.
Ann, Bron and Bridget – AD 2000