Centenary Stitches Exhibition

Centenary Stitches Exhibition

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, London

5 January-19 March 2016,

‘From the village of Thimbleby to the Western Front, two brothers and their story are brought to life in community film Tell Them of Us – a tribute to their duty and the impact on those they left behind.

This display of clothing from the film tells the story of how an international army of knitters was created almost by accident, not only to help costume the film, but also to reveal the extraordinary range of knitted items produced back home for men in the trenches.

Centenary Stitches will be displayed on-site at Kew.’

Photo by Jeff James of The National Archive, Richmond.
Photo by Jeff James of The National Archive, Richmond.

The exhibition was first shown at the Collection, Lincoln, Lincolnshire. Since then a follow-up drama-documentary has been made on the story of the surviving brother, ‘William’s Story’ and the family archive behind the films. Both films will be shown at The National Archive.


6 thoughts on “Centenary Stitches Exhibition”

  1. Hi this is a enquiry about how to host some of the exhibition. We are a Nottinghamshire knitting group based in Lowdham and are involved with the Lowdham Book Festival’s craft day.
    We visited the exhibition at Lincoln last year but only got around to watching the film a couple of weeks ago. We loved the knitwear both on display at the exhibition and also being worn in the film. We got chatting after the film and thought how lovely it would be to have examples of the knitwear at our craft day.
    The craft day is planned for Tuesday June 23rd 10am till 3pm. We have a couple of speakers booked in, a few local sellers have stalls and there are a couple of “try it yourself” tables. In addition people can just pop along for a Knit & Knatter or craft of their choice.
    The day is held in a local community hall – I don’t think we could accommodate all the collection but it would be fantastic to have a few displayed. I am going to buy a copy of the book to display and I’m sure there would be interest from others to purchase it on the day.
    Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
    Many thanks

  2. Hi Jane
    The exhibition in Lincoln took four people a week to install, so, as you suggest, it would need to be a small sample of what was shown. Also, I assume you have no budget for this, so can you supply the labour for setting up and collection and return?
    I would suggest, if you have the room, one of the A-frames with a selection of knitwear and hats and one or two costumed models. The signs are available too, but the small free-standing one on the knitting would probably be the most useful.
    Will the display be manned at all times? Securing everything against theft was one of the most time consuming aspects of setting up the original display.

    1. Hi Pauline
      Thank you for the speedy response.
      A selection would be fantastic, as you suggest an A Frame and a item on a model (which I have) would be about right. One of the lovely cardigans?
      You are right about budget, however the knitting group will be there setting up, throughout the day and closing up at the end. I will be on a craft table demonstrating how to create embroidery hoop art so can have the exhibit items next to me to keep an eye on it. Also the members of our group could take turns to stay by the exhibit.
      My concern is the collection and return – where are the items stored?
      It is possible that the Book Festival organisers would fund a courier but I would have to talk to them.
      My telephone number is 0115 9664907 or 0798 529 3351. I am away this afternoon but will speak to Jane Streeter, who owns The Bookcase here in Lowdham and runs the Festival, on Monday. Hopefully we can catch up early next week and get something organised.
      Many thanks

  3. The exhibition is stored in Sudbrooke near Lincoln. The A frame packs flat and everything will fit in an estate car.

    1. Hello Pauline. Would it be possible to call me regarding the exhibit? I have spoken to Jane Streeter the organiser and other ladies in my knitting group and we are excited at the prospect of have some of the knitwear collection yo view at our craft day.
      I have a Peugeot 3008 which should be big enough to transport the items and it’s not too far to come and collect them.
      Are there any other considerations? Is there any loan fee?
      My phone number is 07985293351 or 01159764907. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience and appreciate your help.

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