LONGHORSLEY MILLENNIUM WALL HANGING
On the 25th May 1999 Longhorsley Embroiderer's Group was formed with the purpose of making a Millennium Wall Hanging in the form of a Parish Map.
A Parish Map demonstrates what people claim as their own locality and what they value in it, wildlife, history, work, landmarks, buildings, people, festivals. It does not have to be precise or cartographic-ally correct, but by illustrating locally distinctive activities and features, it helps you to focus on the everyday things that make your place significant to you and different from the next.
The village resident artist, Mrs. Muriel Florentine, was approached to do the art-work and she agreed. The group collated as much information as possible on the village, contacted and visited other groups, who had either completed or were in the process of doing similar work.
The design format of the wall hanging is that of a triptych, the size and shape being dictated by the position selected for the hanging in the main area of the village hall. The three-section design also aided the construction and framing of the work. However, the dimensions of the area did place certain restrictions upon the projected spatiality. It is not a topographically accurate portrayal of Longhorsley Parish, but rather a montage of buildings, activities, and areas that will be familiar to all parishioners.
Within the design it was obviously impossible to include every building and activity, thus those that are used, are those, which are of most significance to Longhorsley. They include the village hall, churches, shops, services and school. Also included are a small selection of buildings that provide a historic or an aesthetic interest to the overall design.
The buildings and natural features on the hanging are reduced to a simplified, often two-dimensional image; the purpose of this was to aid the needle-workers. It was visualised that needle-workers would use the basic shapes to utilize their own special skills and ideas. The painted design was only seen as a starting point for individual creativity.
Many working methods were used to produce the hanging, which is a collage of techniques and textures, resulting in a tactile as well as a visual experience. Working methods range from embroidery, applique, cross-stitch, woodwork, silk painting to mat making. The possibilities were endless.
Part of the wall hanging. - Coun. Glen Sanderson performing the opening ceremony
The Northumberland Flag (shown flying from the Tower on the Wall Hanging) has perhaps the longest history of any flag in the country. The Flag of ''Bernicia'' had eight strips alternating Red and Gold. Bernicia was the ancient Angle Kingdom, which stretched from the Tees to the Forth. It was the Bernicia Flag, which then became the flag of Northumbria and the Venerable Bede, England's first historian, records a “banner of purple and gold”, which hung over the tomb of St Oswald, one of Northumbria's greatest kings. Later, in medieval times the colours of Red and Gold were adopted by the first Earl of Northumberland and these have remained the County colours ever since.