In 2006 Norma Bean from Lincolnshire Branch was inspired by this Project organised by Christina Henri, from Hobart, Tasmania. Over the years she encouraged many of us here in the East Midlands and also Nationwide, to stitch a Bonnet towards the 25,566 needed to pay tribute to the Convict Women transported from the British Isles and Ireland to Australia in the 18th Century. Norma, with her partner John Clarke, took them to many different Branches around the country; put them on view at many Regional events, not to mention Stalls at the NEC. It is still hoped that there will be a Blessings Ceremony in Westminster Abbey sometime this year.
As many now know, Norma died last year before her involvement in the Project came to an end. There are still quite a few Bonnets needed to complete the number required. I have a list of 54 names and I would hope that we in the East Midlands would make another effort to make Bonnets to tie up with these names.
If you would like to make a Bonnet, whether it is your first or you would like to make another, I would like to allocate a name to you first so you may stitch it along with yours on the Bonnet.
Many members within your Branch might still have a Pattern, but one can be downloaded here
Calico, homespun, old flour bags, old linen or other plain material can be used to make the bonnet, and lace, ribbon, embroidery, applique etc can be used for adornment.
It is suggested that a Rose for an English or Irish Rose, uprooted from all that was familiar and dear to them, and a Heart to show the tribute is made with sincerity and empathy from descendants, with love, be used to decorate the bonnet, but you may make it as simple or complex as you wish.
Fuller details about the Project can also be found here.
To get your name please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org 01332 523469
or if you would like a Bonnet Pattern as well, send a stamped addressed envelope to:
Pam Keeling, 47 Draycott Drive, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 0QE
When your Bonnet is complete, if possible by the end of July, 2014, please send it to me at the above address and I will arrange for them all to go to Head Quarters.