A schools arts project celebrating the River Thames

Managed by The Millennium Tapestry Company in partnership with the Thames Heritage Trust



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Tapestry Displays

The programme of major exhibitions of the Thames Heritage Tapestry will start in January 2012 and will continue to at least the end of the year. So watch this space




Radio Berkshire

In May 2012 BBC Radio Berkshire held a series of interviews at Boulters Lock.The team behind the Thames Heritage Tapestry together with Megan Dale and Edward Preston from Lowbrook Academy canvas talked to Anne Diamond about the project.



Preview Display

The first ever Waterloo Festival took place from the 7th to 12th July 2011 in St John's Church in the Waterloo Road. As part of it, we had a small display in the nave of the church.


Henley 2012

Thames Heritage Tapestry News Page

Mansion House
October 2012: The Mansion House, a magnificent Georgian palace opposite the Bank of England, is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. It hosts many important receptions every year and we were invited to mount a small display for one of these, the Worshipful Company of Upholders' Ladies Night.
The Upholders have supported the Thames Heritage Tapestry and many of their guests were potential supporters too.

St Paul's Cathedral
September 2012: We had always wanted to have an A List venue for the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and we really hit gold. We were so privileged that St Paul's Cathedral hosted the Tapestry in a wonderful part of the Cathedral, the South Transept, where it was visible from right under the Dome. The show lasted for three full months from July to September and no less than 50,000 visitors had the opportunity to see it. We should like again to express our gratitude to the Chapter of St Paul's.

The Diamond Jubilee Garden Party in Henley-on-Thames
June 2012: There were not many perfect sunny days in June, but happily this was one of them. We were invited to mount displays in four different locations for the Garden Party on 25th June to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and were able to include the work of all the schools that had finished in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire as well as a few representing other parts of the Thames. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh joined about 4,500 guests from the three counties, and the tapestry was greatly appreciated by everyone.

BBC Radio Berkshire interviews children from Lowbrook Academy
May 2012: BBC Radio Berkshire had hoped to hold a series of interviews on a boat travelling for a week up the Thames in their area. In the event the river was so high and fast-flowing from the heavy rains that on Tuesday 1st May they settled for the terrace bar of the Boulters Restaurant, Maidenhead, which overlooks the river. Megan Dale and Edward Preston from Lowbrook Academy explained to Anne Diamond how the school had tackled making their canvas and pointed out the different animals they had portrayed, including a kingfisher and a rainbow trout.

Clore Learning Centre, Hampton Court Palace
April 2012: Although we had only twenty-four canvases on show, the exhibition in the Clore Learning Centre at Hampton Court Palace (16th to 24th April) looked very impressive, especially under the protective wings of the splendid dragon in the gallery. The canvases from the schools in the Borough of Richmond that had finished their work were accompanied by those from nearby schools in Surrey and a small selection from elsewhere up and down the Thames.

Windsor Guildhall
March 2012: This was one of the most beautiful spaces in which we have ever mounted an exhibition, and it was great to be able to show more than a hundred tapestries for the first time. The local schools from Windsor and Maidenhead and Slough were especially enthusiastic about the display, which highlighted their work so well. It was only a pity that we could not have had longer in this wonderful venue to allow even more people to enjoy the show!

Imagine at the Royal Festival Hall
February 2012: The Imagine Children's Festival proved to be great fun, with thousands of children milling around and enjoying all the events and activities including, of course, the exhibition of the Thames Heritage Tapestry. This was particularly true for the children - and teachers - who came specially to see it from the schools whose finished work was on display. It was all quite magical.


Ashmolean Museum exhibition a great success
January 2012: The show in the Ashmolean Museum proved to be a great success, and the wonderful surroundings of the Randolph Sculpture Gallery set off the eighty-four canvases on show perfectly. Several hundred children from the Oxfordshire schools who worked on the tapestry visited the exhibition, with no less than eleven school parties for the media call. As more schools complete their work the exhibitions will grow in size and we have every intention of returning to Oxfordshire, where ten schools have still to finish.

The Lambeth tapestries take part in show at Bargehouse
August 2011: The display of the Lambeth tapestries moved on in August to a wonderful exhibition called 'Living Memory' in Bargehouse, behind the Oxo Tower on South Bank. The exhibition, called 'Living Memory' and organized by Coin Street Community Builders, recorded the personal histories of local people in Waterloo, South Bank and Bankside.

Preview Display in the Waterloo Festival
July 2011: The first ever Waterloo Festival took place from the 7th to 12th July in St John's Church in the Waterloo Road. As part of it, we had a small display in the nave of the church from Tuesday 5th to Thursday 14th July. The display included all the canvases completed by schools in the London Borough of Lambeth and made a wonderful preview of the Thames Heritage Tapestry ahead of the main programme of exhibitions.

Thames Heritage Tapestry & Arbour Vale School on London Tonight News
May 2010: ITN's London Tonight news sent cameramen and interviewer Sally Rouke to Arbour Vale School in Slough, Berkshire, to review the schools progress on their square for the Thames Heritage Tapestry.  ITN also took the opportunity to interview the Chief Executive of the Millennium Tapestry Company, Lizzie Owen, to find out that a number of schools are now completing their Thames Heritage tapestry squares.

Resource packs a hit with schools
March 2010: We take a great deal of care in choosing and sourcing the highest quality yarns, materials and implements to go in the resource packs we send schools, and to match them as far as we can to the briefs you have.  We’ve also tried to write clear and helpful instructions about making a square metre of textural embroidery and to inspire schools to think about the tapestry’s subject matter. To help make sure we were getting it right, we sent questionnaires to each school with their resource pack to get their initial impressions. The average results were really encouraging. As a percentage of the highest possible rating the pack contents scored 93%, the way in which they were packed 94%, and whether there were enough materials 81%. The technical instructions scored 88% and the thematic briefing 87%. The overall rating of the value of the project was 95%.

Thames Heritage Tapestry Partnerships
2009: The Millennium Tapestry Company are delighted to announce that the Thames Heritage Tapestry project will be delivered in partnership with the Thames Heritage Trust.  Thames Heritage Trust provides grants and loans for volunteer led projects helping to develop or improve leisure, cultural or education facilities along the non-tidal Thames.  The project is also supported by the River Thames Society, Buckinghamshire 2012 Coordination Group and the Environmental Trust for Richmond.

The Millennium Tapestry Company announces the Thames Heritage Tapestry
2009: The Millennium Tapestry Company announced the plans to launch the Thames Heritage Tapestry project in 2010.  The Thames Heritage Tapestry will involve schools along the River Thames. Each school will design and make a one metre square of textural embroidery to create a tapestry to reflect how the Thames has shaped and influenced the local communities it runs through. The project is designed to support and enrich the national curriculum; it will broaden knowledge of the river and develop a deeper understanding of its significance. The end result will be a multifaceted portrait of the Thames from its source to the estuary through the eyes of the children who live along its banks. Frankly, totally stunning.



Contact: Lizzie Owen, The Millennium Tapestry Company, Telephone: 01869 233165 email:  thamestapestry@btinternet.com