A stitch in time helps tapestry beat crime

Back row: Pip Peat, Lesley Kerr, Jinty Murray, Margaret Humphries, Jean Lindsay. front row: Barabara Stokes, Fiona McIntosh, Artist Andrew Crummey and Anne Beedie
Back row: Pip Peat, Lesley Kerr, Jinty Murray, Margaret Humphries, Jean Lindsay. front row: Barabara Stokes, Fiona McIntosh, Artist Andrew Crummey and Anne Beedie

The stolen Rosslyn Chapel panel of The Great Tapestry of Scotland has been re-created by the group of local women that made the original.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the UK’s largest ever community arts projects, worked on by 1,000 stitchers for more than a year to complete an embroidered tapestry measuring over 140 meters that tells the stories of Scotland’s history.

In September 2015 the panel depicting the Apprentice Pillar at Rosslyn Chapel was stolen while on exhibition in Kirkcaldy Galleries. The thief has never been identified and the panel has never been recovered.

The replacement panel has been created by the seven original stitchers, all of whom live in Roslin and the surrounding area. Together, Margaret Humphries, Jean Lindsay, Anne Beedie, Jinty Murray, Barbara Stokes, Fiona McIntosh and Phillipa Peat worked for hundreds of hours to embroider the replacement which can now take it’s rightful place within the Great Tapestry of Scotland’s incredible narrative.

Stitcher Fiona McIntosh: said “We were all devastated that our panel had been stolen, but we are happy now that it has been remade and delighted that it will once again take its place with the rest of the tapestry.”

The new panel closely resembles the original, but there are some subtle design differences added by Great Tapestry designer Andrew Crummy to distinguish it from the original and different stitches used. Should the original panel ever re-emerge it will be used for outreach education activities.

Project historian Alistair Moffat said: “What the women of Roslin have achieved is something remarkable, not only have they refused to let the miserable people who stole the original panel win, they have also poured all their love and labour into creating a stunning new panel of the Apprentice Pillar that is even more powerful.

“Their panel will have a special place in my heart and it will join its companions in the new building to house the tapestry in Galashiels.”