8 Nov 2019

Volunteers Create New Unicorn Trail

During October half term we launched a new trail at Aston Hall, a unicorn pincushion trail. This project was extra special because a team of volunteers spent months lovingly creating these beautiful objects for display.

Our volunteer Historic Needlework Group started this project in the spring of 2019, building on their last project which created amazing embroidered squirrel bunting for the Stable Yard Café at Aston Hall. This year they have again been meeting once a week in the Great Dining Room at Aston Hall to work on their unicorn pincushions and to share their skills with visitors.

(Left image) Embroidered squirrel bunting. (Right image) the Historic Needlework Group embroidering in the Great Hall at Aston Hall

The unicorn design for the trail was created by Ann Howden of annbroidery, who used the history of the building as inspiration. The heraldic symbol of the baronet crown represents the man who built Aston Hall, Sir Thomas Holte, and the unicorn represents James Watt Junior’s Scottish family heritage, he was one of the last residents at the Hall.

Each member of the volunteer team created their own version of the design using hand embroidery and each unicorn has been named by their creator. Visitors to Aston Hall are now encouraged to find and admire them all when they visit.

Unicorn pincushion

Unicorn pincushion trail

The volunteers have dedicated lots of time, passion and enthusiasm to the project and their beautiful creations are already a big hit! It is brilliant to hear how much they have enjoyed being part of the team:

“It is delightful to be with likeminded people in a unique setting.”

“It is a pleasure to stitch in such historic and beautiful surroundings with likeminded stitchers. The group is friendly and supportive of each other. I feel honoured to be a part of the group. As I walk up to the Hall each Tuesday I smile to know I am going inside to stitch.”

“I get a great feeling about thinking of all the women sewing, maybe in the same window space, that have gone on before us!”

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers Chris Hillman, Deb Smith, Eleanor Wright, Elsie Weston, Leila Scott, Libby Riley, Mary Conroy, Ruth Mittar, Stanley Duller, Sue Carrington-Porter and Wendy Walker and to Ann Howden for her support of the project and the team at Aston Hall for making it possible.

Don’t forget to check out the beautiful unicorn pincushion trail for yourself next time you visit Aston Hall!

Unicorn pincushion trail