Sew far sew good for unique record of Iford and Swanborough


A REMARKABLE piece of art is painstakingly taking shape in Iford.

When finished it will provide a unique record of the village and of the neighbouring hamlet of Swanborough.

The Iford and Swanborough Community Embroidery Project will feature every home – that’s about 80 – together with farm buildings, the church and hall, farm animals and wildlife. It’s the brainchild of Jan Newbury and Anne Commin, working to a design by local artist Pauline Jay who has produced a beautiful blueprint giving a “walker’s eye” view from halfway up the Downs.

Being produced in crewel embroidery stitches on three separate panels, it measures 1.5m by 80cms and will eventually be displayed in Iford Village Hall. The embroidery is on Belfast linen using yarns of British-spun wool with natural dyes supplied by a small company in the foothills of the French Pyrenees.

The small team, boosted by a £550 grant from the South Downs National Park, meets in each others’ homes to work on the embroidery each week. It “could take years” to finally complete.