Look inside for 'A Flavour of Sutton Coldfield'

Sutton Coldfield Tapestries

These 24 photos depict a very informative tapestry that took over 18 years to complete, with 30 to 40 people working on it at any one time.  It was the brainchild of Mrs Julia Mills, Sutton’s last mayoress, who was determined that when Sutton was incorporated into Birmingham in 1974 it would not lose its royal history.

Under the co-ordination of Mrs Olive Hill and with advice from local historians, the whole set covers events during the eras of the Saxons, Romans, Tudors and Victorians, right up to 1974, using authentic materials such as silk, wool, silver or leather.

Mrs Mills, then chairman of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Tapestry Trust, said that “The tapestry is a living memento of the history of our time.  It is authentic and beautiful, but it would be impossible to estimate its value.”

A VIP launch was arranged for June 1992 at Sutton College, followed by a display at the three day flower festival in Holy Trinity Parish Church. It was hoped that the church could provide it with a permanent home, but this was deemed inappropriate.  However, the Rectory hall was offered, although that proved to be too small.  Sutton Library would also have liked to display it, but could not guarantee security against vandalism.

Eventually an offer was made by Middleton Hall, which, being part of Sutton Chase, was within the boundary of Sutton and therefore a welcome and desirable venue.  On 8th April 1994, an unveiling took place by Lord Middleton and the collection now graces the upper gallery of the Great Hall.

Janet Jordan

Information taken from British Newspaper Archive

May, 2024

Tuesday, 04 June 2024