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St Albans Morris Men

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The Betley Windows

Alison Bailey's Embroidery Version of The Betley Window

I just had to share this with you! Isn't it superb!?! Embroidery work by Alison Bailey. Photography by Lester Bailey. Detailed views of the individual figures are included on the page "Characters in the Windows", so that you can admire - as I did - the skill and care Alison has employed to reproduce them in her own medium.

Alison Bailey's Embroidery Window

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.

Arrow Guided Tour: The next version of the Window, in chronological order, is a machine appliqué representation by Ruth Dodworth.

Index of pages on this "Betley Windows" site:


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

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