Windsor & Maidenhead Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild was formed 35 years ago this year and several of the founder members are still regular attendees at our meetings and workshops which is an indication of the on-going interest and enthusiasm we engender.
Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn, current Joint Presidents of the Embroiderers' Guild, were among the early members and remain as our President and Vice-President. Many of their former students and those of their successors at Windsor School of Stitched Textiles are among our members.
In 1978 it was decided to found Windsor & Maidenhead Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild. The initial idea was to encourage the development of Embroidery & Textile Arts skills which were in danger of dying out as fewer young people took it up either as a hobby or career.
In 1982, to celebrate the four hundreth anniversary of the granting of the Charter to Maidenhead, Jan & Jean designed a beautiful triptych, pictured above, depicting the Thames at Maidenhead Bridge which was was executed as a group projec by the membersof the branch.
On the weekend of 10th to 12th May our Joint Presidents Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn gave a very well-attended lecture on the Friday evening, followed by a two-day embroidery workshop in Louth, Lincolnshire. They were made very welcome by the organisers and everyone thought it had been a very successful weekend. Until, that was, they came to pack away and discovered that a number of stitch samples, sketchbooks and artworks were missing, and it also appeared that some of their books and DVDs could not be accounted for.
Anyone who has attended one of their talks or workshops will know how generous they are in allowing participants to examine their completed embroideries, samples and sketchbooks, many of which have been photographed and used to illustrate their very popular range of books. Before this incident they have never been subjected to apparently methodical theft of this magnitude and find it very difficult to comprehend. They will take more precautions when sharing their work in the future.
Obviously these valuable works took Jan and Jean many hours to create over a number of years and they use them constantly in their teaching. As you can imagine they are very upset about this, especially as they had enjoyed working with the group. When Jan told our group about the losses there was a stunned silence, but we were aghast when she told us that some of Jean's sketchbooks, were stolen including one from a teaching trip to America that is totally irreplaceable as they don't anticipate returning to the area where the drawings were done, we were amazed that someone could be so callous as to take the source material Jean would have used to produce new work; of what possible use could these books be to someone who had not created the sketches?
The police are now involved and are actively investigating this incident, so if you attended any part of the weekend and saw anything suspicious, please contact the Louth Police. Alternatively, there is a possibility that the works were taken in error and if that is the case they can be sent, anonymously, to Double Trouble, 25 The Crescent, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 6AA.
Please send a link to this article to anyone you think may be able to help publicise the loss or post it to your Facebook or other social media. Alternatively, if you are offered them or see any of the pieces for sale, please contact the police or Jan & Jean at the above address.
Let's help in any way we can to recover these items!
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Tuesday 10th April 2018
7:30 to 9:30 at the St James- The-Less Stubbings Henley Road Maidenhead SL6 6QW Guests £6 Guild Members £5
includes light refreshments
All accommodation and food is included in the price for all the Stitch Retreat residential workshops, so all you have to do is book and turn up!