Celebration event was held on Friday 21st November in the Learning
and Resource Centre at Steyning Grammar School to unveil the five Heritage
Quilts for school and community members to enjoy. This momentous project has left a lasting
legacy primarily to mark Steyning Grammar School’s 400th Anniversary,
but it has also been a project that has enriched and changed the lives of all
those involved and captured many wonderful stories and memories in the process.
Duke, Heritage Quilt Project Leader said: “We have left a legacy not only in
the form of these luxurious quilts, the moving film, the beautiful book and the
detailed catalogue of work, but we have a group of quilters that will continue
to meet regularly following on from this project. At the school we are planning the
re-introduction of textiles to our curriculum and we will also be running
enrichment workshops for young people to enjoy.
This has been a hugely rewarding project with many positive outcomes.”
celebration began with a welcome from Headteacher Mr Nick Wergan who thanked
all those many people that had been involved and the energy, enthusiasm and
dedication with which the quilts have been put together.
Nick Wergan said: “This has been an extraordinary
project of collaboration and dedication. You cannot fail to be moved by the
different stories these quilts tell, and their powerful message of a united,
supportive and creative Steyning community. We are determined to nurture
qualities of grit and resilience, curiosity and zest in our students – this
beautiful work is a powerful example of those characteristics in action – and
we are very proud to hang them in our Learning Resource Centre to inspire us
Richardson from the Quilters Guild who unveiled the plaque dedicated to the
quilt said: “The five wonderful quilts are fantastic and the quality
outstanding. Congratulations for
involving so many community members, let’s hope we can get them round the
country so other people can see them.”
Fairley, South East Regional member for the Heritage Lottery Fund also spoke
saying: “If you wanted to look at the different ways people can
connect with heritage, the Steyning Heritage Quilts project is a prime example.
Mixing embroidery, history and craft, people will have not only learned about
the school's 400-year history, but the project has engaged hundreds of
students, volunteers, museum staff, and many of the local community along the
"It is projects like these we
ourselves celebrate as the Lottery reaches its own 20th anniversary – with
thousands of projects and billions of pounds of investment it is, however,
always the hard work and dedication of the public who keep our heritage so
vibrant today, always finding new, inspiring ways to engage with our past and
learn for the future."
A group of quilt makers gave some
moving descriptions from the many people that had contributed to the project,
one account recorded: “This has been the most amazing project, starting with an
idea and from scraps of material to the most beautiful quilts. So many personal memories have been sewn into
Jacquie Gale an experienced quilter was also thanked for her technical expertise and wisdom that
has carried the project to completion along with the Quilt project team members
Elisabeth Harden, Cynny Bucket, Jean Griffiths, Jan Hobson, Jane Hogg, Caroline
Meeson, Lucy Simcox and the 500 or so quilters ranging from 11 – 96 years of
age that have given their time and shared their memories.
Jan Hobson, Steyning Grammar School
Governor has been committed to the project from the outset and played a huge
role in documenting the quilt development and producing a ‘Quilt film’ to
record the project history and the stories behind many of the quilt pieces
said: “Working on the quilt has been a
brilliant example of school and community coming together. The spirit has been joyful throughout.”
The success of this two year project
is evident and the end result is exceptional.
The quilts may even go on tour to the Birmingham NEC as part of The
Festival of Quilts, Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting show and an
invitation has been received to go to Hever Castle for the Quilters Guild
showcase event displaying over 200 quilts and wall hangings.
has been produced ‘The Story of Steyning Grammar School Heritage Quilts’ which
records the project journey from the early planning stages, design concept,
methods of making to detailed stories on each of the five quilt panels. This book & the Quilt DVD are available
from the main school reception priced £14.
About Steyning Grammar School:
A thriving comprehensive day and boarding school for students ages 11-19
set in the beautiful countryside of the South Downs, with close links to
Brighton and the South Coast. The school has an intake in Year 7 and 9 and a
successful Sixth Form College, offering both A Levels and the International
Baccalaureate. An OfSTED ‘good with outstanding features’, students are
extremely keen to learn and this is reflected in good examination results.
School has had the proud tradition of boarding provision since 1614. It boasts
some of the finest and most modern facilities of any state or private boarding
school. Following a three day inspection by Ofsted in October 2012, SGS Boarding
was once again judged as 'Outstanding'. Very few schools achieve such a judgement
and SGS Boarding is the first Outstanding State Boarding School in the country
to achieve this grade under the new inspection framework. The inspection report reinforces the
popularity of Steyning Grammar School as demand from the UK, as well as
overseas, continues to rise. The education is free to parents and families with
just the very modest boarding costs to cover.
Full details can be
found on the school’s website www.sgs.uk.net
School will be celebrating 400 years of excellence during the academic year
2014, visit our website for more details or to register your interest in the events.