The Thames Heritage Tapestry
A major schools project to capture the history of the River Thames
The River Thames Society is pleased to be supporting the Thames Heritage Tapestry, a project of the Thames Heritage Trust. This exciting and innovative project is enabling schools to create tapestries showing how the Thames has shaped and influenced its riverside landscapes and communities. Working with the Millennium Tapestry Company, the Trust has secured £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is equipping schools – spread from the source right down to the estuary – to create a unique record of Thames history, architecture, industry, nature, sport and recreation. The tapestry will be completed by 2012, as one of the cultural components of the London Olympics.
Each school is being asked to complete a one square metre panel depicting aspects of the Thames in their area. Pupils will be supplied with carpet canvas and all the yarns, plus materials and implements needed to complete their panel, and trainer sessions will be held to provide the practical know-how needed for the project. More than 6,400 metres of yarn will be used, equivalent to the entire length of the Thames from source to the sea and back again.
This imaginative project is mobilising and inspiring thousands of children and their families to tell the ever-flowing tale that links thousands of communities alongside the River Thames.
The project aims to engage an estimated 50,000 children who are being encouraged to research and understand the impact of the river on life, work and the environment as well as getting involved in all stages of the artwork needed to complete the work.
Lizzie Owen, chief Executive of the Millennium Tapestry Company and project manager, has extensive experience of running large-scale art projects in schools.
The completed one metre panels will be mounted on wooden frames and displayed in their respective schools, before the whole tapestry is assembled at a number of venues, concluding in London to coincide with the Olympics. The full joined-up tapestry will measure 240 metres in length, making it more than three times the length of the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry.
Click here to follow the latest progress on the Thames Tapestry, or to find out how to register your school.