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School Banner commision

The completed Banner

Woolston C E Primary Head teacher, Mrs Dillon was looking to have the school banner, which has been used for many years, restored or replaced. The Banner was  a little worn and tired with the emblems starting to come away from the main banner, and it was difficult to have cleaned. Sarah Rakestraw (who owns Golden Hinde) and work colleague Kate Boarman stepped in and offered to create a new banner ready for Padgate Walking day this year. Sarah, Kate and Ida Boarman all worked on the banner as they all have close connections to the school, they also got their children to help, Sarah’s sons John (Y6) and William (Y1) and Kate’s Daughter Matilda (Y5) all attend the school.

Sarah said “It was an honour to do something for the school which will be a lasting piece for the school to treasure and be proud of, it was a lot of work by the three of us but it has been very rewarding” Kate added “as our children attend the school and we had the skills it seemed right for us to create this new banner. It was also a nice touch to let the children add to the piece by stitching on the cross”

John and Matilda proudly showing off their work at Woolston & Padgate walking day

Ida stated “I was proud to be able to take part in this project as my three children and now my Granddaughter Matilda have all attended the school”

The school said “We are extremely grateful and delighted to Golden Hinde Goldwork who have kindly donated a new school banner.  Our year 6 children will proudly carry it on Padgate & Woolston Walking Day on Saturday 22nd June 2019.  The intricate detail brings to life the emblems of our school, the fish representing Jesus as the fisher of men, the book to represent learning, our Church and the wolf derived from the Old English ‘Wulfes tun’.”

The Local press were even involved, attending the officisl handover of the banner from Golden Hinde to the School

How we created the Banner

We used a variety of Materials to create the school banner, but we needed to consider how the banner would be used and stored and the fact that children would be carrying it. Wires would be heavy and could get caught very easily and pull out of shape so we settled on our main threads being the very versatile 3 ply twists, these were used mainly for the Church and the Bible (where we also used the Or Nue technique). 3 ply twists were ideal for these areas as they are light, easy to work with and the still add that wow factor when the light catches them, also with the dense areas that needed to be filled the twists were the perfect option.

The fish was an easy decision, as this was the part Kate was solely going to work on she insisted that the Fish needed to be ‘blingy’ so spangles fit the bill, we outlined the fish with black Pearl purl 1 and then started to fill in the fish from tail end to head, firstly with 6mm Gold, then 4mm and finely 3mm. Finished off with a metal sequin for the eye. I am sure that you will agree that the final effect is fabulous, it really sparkles in the sunlight and is the heaviest piece on the banner.

The wolf was going to be a bigger challenge, we didn’t want him to be flat we wanted him to look like a wolf and have a bit of character. Sarah as the most experienced of us (well she is a Goldwork teacher) took on this challenge, she created the wolf using 3 ply twists, stranded cottons and some 371 threads, she layered the treads to create the fur on the wolf, taking inspiration form a picture of a wolf using coppers, greys and browns to add depth and shape. He turned out wonderful and he looks amazing.

The Children’s contribution

As Sarah’s son’s, John and William, and Kate’s daughter Matilda attend the school we wanted to get them involved in the project so that they could leave a lasting legacy at the school. It was decided that the three of them could decorate the cross with red twist to give some depth and interest, we think they have done a fantastic job and it looks great.

The finishing Touches

The last thing to be done was the lettering as soon as this is completed we could but the whole thing together (not as easy as it sounds). The lettering was attached directly on to the main blue banner material. Each letter had been cut out from linen. Sarah and Kate then surrounded with white 3ply twist, this took some time and was quite fiddly but it really helps the letters stand out. Then it was just a matter of putting everything together, as the piece was so large it took 2 days to attach all the individual parts and then the ribbon was added to complete the cross. The final job to do was to make sure that the poles would fit, the banner has a pole across the top – which we added tabs to hold, and 2 wooden poles up each side. Sarah completed this sewing using a sewing machine, with Kate’s assistance to keep the fabric as taught as possible, although this seemed like a straight forward task the side poles needed to be tight fitting and also needed to support the top pole.

We are all very proud of our contribution to the school, John, William and Matilda loved being able to show off the school banner and their handy work, with the added acknowledgement form the Head teacher in their end of year reports, stating that they have all left a legacy.