Corby Scots picked to tell tales on tapestry

Dr Gordon Prestoungrange with The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry
Dr Gordon Prestoungrange with The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry

Corby has been chosen to take part in a project to honour the courage and true grit of Scots pioneers.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is to be embroidered by volunteers from 25 communities around the world where people from Scotland have settled and made their mark.

And Corby has been picked to represent England.

The two-year project has been launched by Prestoungrange Arts Festival, creators of The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry which is to be displayed at the Grampian Club, in the town, to generate interest in the latest venture.

It will be on show between 11am and 4pm from Sunday until Thursday, November 29, and from 11am until 10pm on Friday, November 30.

At 104 metres long, it is one of the largest tapestries in the world and depicts the journey made by Bonnie Prince Charlie from France through the Highlands to victory at Prestonpans.

It was stitched by 200 volunteers who embroidered for more than 25,000 hours to make 10 million stitches.

Dr Gordon Prestoungrange, chairman of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry project, said: “As Corby has such close Scottish connections, the town has been chosen to represent England on the new tapestry.

“There is a huge amount of material linking Corby to Scotland, and lots of people with personal connections.

“We’ve already met several enthusiastic people who want to take part in the project, but this exhibition is a chance for us to meet lots more and to hear many more stories of Scottish connections.

“During the exhibition we shall be meeting local embroidery groups and the Grampian Club pipers and we are privileged to be in the club on St Andrew’s Night when a multitude of local Scots will be celebrating.”

Some volunteers have already signed up to help and outline design ideas will be available to view at the Grampian Club during the exhibition.

The embroidered panels from the 25 communities around the world will pay homage to the determination and courage of Scots over the centuries.

Each community involved in the project is being invited to produce between five and 10 panels which will be assembled and displayed in Scotland as part of its year-long Homecoming 2014 programme to celebrate the country’s culture and ancestral heritage.