On Saturday 14th October 2017 EYES members celebrated 35 years as a Society.
We were entertained with talks by founder member Muriel through to Helen who described ‘growing up’ with EYES. Each speaker recalled incidents and memories highlighting the importance of the Society in their lives to this day.
Muriel spoke about being at the initial meeting, in 1982, where a group of City and Guilds students from Bishop Burton College were looking for like minded people to start a society with regular meetings. Muriel brought along samples of intricate smocking and described how the process of gathering the fabric, prior to the embroidery, was greatly improved when the society bought a smocking machine. She also talked about the society having been involved in the Millennium Tapestry, sections of which are still on display in the James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough.
Margaret spoke on behalf of four members , Dorothy, Ann, Joyce and Kathy and their shared memories since joining the society in 1991. Their individual skills range from Dorothy dyeing her own fabrics, to Joyce with her traditional styles including hardanger and pulled threadwork. Margaret emphasised how welcoming these four had been on her first residential visit, helping her develop skills and confidence. She showed the audience a machine embroidered picture of a garden arch Ann had completed on one of these courses.
For her talk, Marion recalled her enjoyment of the residential courses run by EYES over the years. She highlighted the social aspect of attending these courses and the regular workshops, as a means of getting to know fellow members. Marion also encouraged members to become involved in the committee.
Jacky introduced herself as a woodcarver and former art teacher. She enjoys the Saturday speakers as they ‘give me permission to try’ and she takes away new ideas every month. Jacky designed and stitched the EYES Shield which is on display at every Saturday meeting.
Maureen spoke of past events and competitions held by EYES bringing with her a pin cushion, made for one of these competitions. She also spoke about the society being involved with collecting silk threads for refugee women in Afghanistan. Another of the competitions resulted in cushions for Dove House, Martin House and the Godfrey Johnson Home .
Helen’s mother, Wendy, was one of the original students who wished to continue with their love of embroidery and encourage others to form a society. Helen recalled attending EYES meetings with her mother and her own developing enthusiasm for the hobby. Helen revisited her time as Chair of EYES talking about Trader’s Fairs trips and outings . Amongst her items Helen had to show were intricately decorated Walnut Purses.
Everyone agreed the afternoon had been most enjoyable and wished the Society a further 35 years.
Below Muriel bringing the afternoon to a close cutting the cake.