BRINGING THE THREADS TOGETHER (by Brenda Scarman & Carolyn Merry)

As you know we are researching the history of Lincolnshire branch, and this is the month when we remember the longest serving Chairman, Mildred Higgins, and celebrate our shared interest in textiles and stitch. We want to share with you some nuggets of information taken from Branch, Committee, and AGM minutes between the years of 1976 and 1994.

In 1976 the meetings were mostly held at Shuttleworth Hall in Lincoln. February 1986 was the occasion of the first meeting at Bishop Grosseteste. It appears that most of the meetings took the form of the speaker attending for the whole of the day, beginning their presentation (usually slides) in the morning. Mildred always entertained the speaker to lunch, often in a local hotel. The afternoon session would begin with the business section of the branch and then the speaker would continue with their presentation. The meetings always ended with a cup of tea. Many famous names have attended and a few are listed.

Richard Box (1977 and 1986); Margaret Nicholson (1978); Val Harding (Valerie Campbell-Harding) (1979); Diana Springall (1981); Jane Lemon (1981); Thomasina Beck (1982); Verina and Stuart Warren (1985); Constance Howard (1987); Jan Messent (1987); Sue Rangeley (1988); Moyra McNeill (1990); Barbara and Roy Hurst (1991); Jean Littlejohn (1992); Julia Caprara (1993). Many of the afore-mentioned offered workshops (or “schools” as they were referred to). These are just a few of the very well-known practitioners in the world of embroidery who visited Lincoln and most of them have at least one book to their name, some of which are in our branch library.

Membership numbers

As you can see the numbers have inevitably fluctuated, but are healthy. There was even a discussion in the late 1980s regarding capping the membership to 120!

1977: 49 1979: 79 1988: 103 1990: 80

Direct quotes from minutes

Committee meeting, May 20th 1981 - “After sampling a bottle of wine that Mrs Knott had kindly bought for the Committee to sample, it was agreed to purchase 20 bottles for the Exhibition opening, as we were unlikely to improve upon it”.

AGM, November 6th 1982 - “The Secretary caused some amusement by having to give her brief report in borrowed spectacles”.

Branch meeting, June 23rd 1984 - “An exhibition was being arranged and finalised at Corby Glen with the official opening on July 10th, with a hand-made lace handkerchief by Miss Fardell to be presented to the opener. Refreshments were to be provided by the Committee, Miss Newton was arranging about the sherry, and Mrs Came to be in charge of the flower arrangements”.

AGM, October 13th 1984 - The Secretary was feeling “under the weather” so gave virtually no report, which seemed popular!

The meetings always ended with a cup of tea but on July 9th 1988 “the meeting on this occasion did not conclude with the usual cup of tea as the urn was found to contain coffee”.

We hope you have enjoyed reading these little jewels from another era. One of the main threads that we have picked up is the passion for the Guild, the sharing of ideas, and companionship and support amongst friends. Long may it continue.