Bedminster embroiderers create a map to fill a gap

Published on: 28 Oct 2016

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HISTORIC Ashton Gatehouse is now back on the map thanks to the creative mind of all-round artist Vicky Harrison.

Vicky, who runs the Paper Village art shop in North Street, is behind many community art initiatives including Briswool, the famous woolly recreation of the city and all its popular features, from the zoo to the harbour and the suspension bridge.

Asked to contribute to the celebrations to mark the restoration of the gatehouse – now nearing completion – Vicky first looked online for information, and found it wasn’t marked at all on Google Maps.

The obvious things to do was to create a new map – so Vicky decided to embroider one.

Created with the help of volunteers, it includes Bower Ashton, Ashton Vale, Southville and Bedminster. Scattered over it are points of interest such as peregrine falcons in the Avon Gorge, deer in the park and hot air balloons floating above Ashton Court. Other familiar sites include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Matthew sailing up the docks and Clifton Observatory. 

“So far we have run six very successful workshops during which volunteers learn various stitches and gain ideas about how to turn little doodles into beautiful elements for the map. It’s fun and we are all learning lots of new things as well as eating biscuits!” Vicky said.

Tamsin Mosse, community project officer for the restoration, said the map will be finished in the New Year and will be put on show in the gatehouse.

“Ashton Gatehouse will be the only gatehouse open to the public and the map will help demonstrate the community involvement that is at the heart of this beautiful building’s redevelopment,” she said.

The building is being restored with the help of a £550,000 Lottery grant and other funds from donors including the Architectural Heritage Fund.

• ashtongatehouse.org

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