December, 2015

Windows ‘wake-up’

News Release: Windows ‘wake-up’ thanks to appeal success

after - sleepy windows are transformed at the Quaker Tapestry Museum, Kendal

The windows of one of Kendal’s finest Georgian buildings have been given a wake-up make-over this month (December) following a successful fundraising appeal.

In June the Quaker Tapestry Museum launched its ‘Wake up our Windows’ appeal. Within three months over £2,700 had been raised, enough to fund the project.

As Museum Manager Bridget Guest explained:
“Friends Meeting House in Kendal, which is home to the Quaker Tapestry, looks asleep from the outside. This is because the blackout blinds on the four 1.2 meter by 2.6 meter windows are permanently down to protect the museum exhibits from daylight.

“Those passing by assumed that the building was closed. We secured planning permission to apply coloured images to the outside of the glass and launched our appeal. Thanks to our supporters our windows now hint at what’s inside – our bright and colourful tapestries.”

One of Kendal’s smallest museums, with an international following, the 77 embroidered panels are described by renowned traveller and writer Alexander McCall Smith as one of the six best tapestries in the world to see.

Completed in 1996, they are likened to a modern equivalent of the Bayeux Tapestry because of their historical, story-telling narrative and ancient art of ‘crewel embroidery’. They cover subjects as diverse as the industrial revolution, developments in science and medicine, astronomy, the abolition of slavery, social reform and ecology.

Bridget Guest says over 300,000 people have visited the Quaker Tapestry in the last 21 years. And the tapestry roadshows continue to be a successful way to promote the museum and Kendal. This year’s appearances in Ireland, Scotland, Cockermouth and at Kendal’s Wool Gathering drew visitors back to see the rest of the collection in Kendal. But, she adds, there is potential for many more to discover the museum via the internet.

This is now the focus of a new campaign to secure £15,000 to produce a new mobile friendly website. It should bring more virtual visitors, including an increasingly important American market, and provide a vital income stream through shop sales and online giving.

As Bridget and her team of volunteers prepare to re-open for February half-term (Monday 15th), a task which includes recruiting a new business partner to run the museum café, they are thankful the premises escaped the worst of the recent flooding.


Image shows the new wide awake windows.