St Albans Morris Men
The Betley Windows
I started by calling this a tapestry, because that's how I (incorrectly) think of anything like this which is used as a wall-hanging. But Alison points out that it doesn't fit that definition because it's not woven. For the aficionado of this kind of work, it's embroidery executed on a soft even-weave fabric of 28 holes per inch.
The design was transferred to cloth and the needle work completed over a period of five months in 1984/85. It has been displayed in an exhibition in the Kingston-upon-Thames Museum, next to their version of the Window.
At 28" by 14", it's similar in size to the original Betley Window: but the characters have labels, like the Kingston-upon-Thames version. It was based on a picture in a brochure produced by the Thames Valley Morris Men in 1957. The origin of the picture has been forgotten (but do tell me if you happen to know!), and it appears to be a photograph of an artist's reconstruction. The labels of some of the characters are different from those on the Kingston window, perhaps reflecting the different view of another historian.
Coincidentally, TVMM celebrated their 50th Anniversary at a dinner on 18th May 2002 - as version 1 of this expanded web page was nearing completion - and used the same picture on one side of their place setting.
Original Betley window Kingston-upon-Thames copy Betley Court copy Alison Bailey copy Ruth Dodworth copy Susan McKenney copy
Characters in the Windows Conclusions? Two 19th Century Views of Morris Foreign connections
References and Acknowledgements
John Price 2006. Comments to St Albans Morris Men's webslave