“Write Collective Spirit on your blog…”

Last Saturday  I was back at the Edlington Top Club finishing off the Women Againist Pit Closure Banner with the Yorkshire Main Commerative Trust. Though we were due to start at 10.00am the room was already buzzing when I arrived including a local journalist and photographer from the Doncaster Free Press and the lovely Abi Nielson who travelled all the way from Sheffield to be part of the workshop.

Everyone was keen to get working so we set-up our work station over the pool table, which worked perfectly for the activity. The oldest there today was a lady of 74 and the youngest my little niece Estelle, who didn’t really get it but got stuck in anyway.

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A gaggle of stitchers around the pool table…

The Trust wants to make sure as many Edlo folk attend the 30th Anniversary March next year, so the group have been pushing to get the project featured in the press and much as possible.

Quite impressed that the Free Press turned so early on a Saturday morning.
Quite impressed that the Free Press turned so early on a Saturday morning.

Ex miner Jim was an absolute star on the day, after cutting out a load of letters he got inspired to write a little verse on the project in my journal. Apparently he freestyles at the car boot which encourage the customer to spend up. The Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust do this quite often to raise funds.

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Wordsmith Jim writing his verse inspired by the day…

There is something really inspiring about  a group of almost strangers sat round a pool table stitching a banner. There was lots of chatting and laughing whilst listening to David Bowie on the juke box. Joie provided the teas and vegan buns again.

Joie was a star making all the troops cups of tea.
Joie was a star making all the troops cups of tea.

Frank Arrowsmith of the Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust said the new mantra is “Collective Spirit” and that I should put this on my blog. Well Frank there you go, the collective spirit is a very beautiful indeed and in this scenario, the collective spirit isn’t about us all being the same,  as people like to coin us lefties, you couldn’t get a more diverse group. A granny, and her grand daughter, a husband who’s really bad at sewing with his wife who’s really good at sewing, a vegan performance artist, a Sheffield based artist, blokes in their 50s having a go at stitching.  Ok, so I guess we are all lefties but we are definitely all very different creatures.

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I do like the idea of the collective spirit thought, it’s really wholesome and you can’t really quantity something like this, it just feeds the soul. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday morning. I felt sorry for all the people on my drive home to Doncaster spending there day queuing to get into  Tesco’s car park. How soul destroying on your weekend off.

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Ex miner Frank was on it with his own stitching PR campaign there were lots of “Keep Calm and Sew” posters laying around, despite not doing any sewing on the day, yet again. I’m not sure how he managed to get a way with that!

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These lovely folks started hemming the banner, this was exciting as it meant we were getting close to finishing it.  Joie Rachel got cracking with Estelle sorting out the appliqued letters. They made a good job of it and formed their own little dream team.

 Joie and Estelle our banner making dream team.
Joie and Estelle our banner making dream team.

Another asset of the team was Adam Ogden a Rosso based artist and miners’ strike baby. He is a super talented 3D designer and from a longer line of markers and inventors. Using my mums old curtain poles he built a wonderful banner stand.

Mother Horne's curtain poles up-cycled to become the banner display frame.
Mother Horne’s curtain poles up-cycled to become the banner display frame.

Good work everyone! The banner will be on display at the Edlington Miners Memorial Centre on the 6th of December. We have a few bits and bobs to tweak in the meantime bit it will look tremendous leading the 30th Anniversary March in 2014.

The official banner maker team. Thank you all!
The official banner maker team. Thank you all!

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