EXTRACT FROM THE CHAMBERLAIN’S COURT UPDATE – by kind permission of the Deputy Clerk
Excursion to Hampton Court:
Some of you might recall the lovely, embroidered box sitting on the Court table. Gifted to the Chamberlain’s Court by the Worshipful Company of Broderers some time ago, over the years it sadly got a bit dusty. But how proud we are of this little box! It showcases a very precise and skilled artistry, and brings a lovely touch of femininity in our Courtroom, representing the work of women and their influence in the City of London from its very beginning.
In July, I had the pleasure of meeting Angie Wyman, a degree programme course leader at the Royal School of Needlework, and her guests for her ceremony at Guildhall. I showed them this little object with pride and, knowing I was talking to specialists, I asked how best to clean it, as the last thing we wanted was to damage it!
After some correspondence with Anne Butcher, Head of Studio and Education, and Gemma Murray, Studio Manager at the Royal School of Needlework, we agreed that it would be a great opportunity for the box to be part of their teaching programme: their students would work on it while learning about conservation and restoration methods in the studio.
So early one December morning, braving the cold and the train strikes, Dave and I went to the Royal School of Needlework, beautifully situated in Hampton Court, to collect our box. There the team talked us through their work and education programme. They were also kind enough to show us around the school so we could meet and talk to their students. From restoring christening gowns handed down through generations to designing and sewing stunning coats of arms, as well as modern pieces on which the students were working, it was a real treat for the eye. The range of pieces they work on is truly incredible.
Sadly, we had to rush to get a train back to the Chamberlain’s Court so we couldn’t stay long, but we enjoyed the experience very much and can’t thank Angie, Bryna, Anne and Gemma at the RSN enough for their help and kindness in restoring our beautiful little box. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with them if you want to know more about their work – you will be enchanted for sure!