Lord Mayor’s postcard to commemorate the past

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor has been busy making an embroidered postcard as part of this year’s World War One commemorations.

Over the past year Up For Crafts, a local arts organisation, have engaged over 200 people from the Merseyside region, including Lord Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp, to create embroidered postcards inspired by those sent back from the front during the First World War.

The finished project, Posting to the Past, will be displayed at Liverpool Central Library from Saturday 8 November until Friday 5 December, with a drop in workshop available on Saturday 8 November from 11am – 3pm.

Councillor Kemp, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and I am delighted to have been involved in producing one of these beautiful embroidered postcards.

“This has been a great way to commemorate the start of the First World War and for community groups to get involved in this year’s World War One commemorations.

“I hope we can encourage as many people as possible to go along to Central Library and take a look at some of these stunning postcards.”

These postcards were initially produced at the end of the Victorian period but became popular during the First World War when an estimated 10 million postcards were produced for men on the front to send back to their loved ones at home. Many of them featured images of birds, flowers and loving messages however as the war progressed, Allied flags, patriotic messages and regimental badges and crests were also incorporated.

Workshops were held at venues across Merseyside including the Museum of Liverpool, The Atkinson, Southport and The Williamson Art Gallery on the Wirral. People of all ages created thoughtful embroidered images, some of which carry dedications to family ancestors who fought in the war.

Becky Waite, workshop co-ordinator said: “”We have been overwhelmed at the response for Posting to the Past from lots of very talented stitchers in Merseyside.

“We’re honoured to be able to share these beautiful embroidered postcards. During our workshops we met lots of people who hadn’t done embroidery since they were at school but once they took up a needle and thread, they couldn’t stop, and for some of our contributors creating a postcard was a way of paying tribute to grandfathers and great grandfathers who fought during the First World War.”

Up For Crafts also collaborated with community groups including the Kaleidoscope Collective from the Bluecoat Riverside Housing and Age Concern.

Posting to the Past is a Liverpool City Council funded project from Up For Crafts. Up For Crafts is an initiative from Voluntary Arts England (part of the Up for Arts Project) in partnership with BBC Radio Merseyside and aims to harness the power and reach of speech based radio to raise the profile and visibility of heritage and at risk textile crafts.