Thursday, 15 November 2012

2012 Message from the Chairman, Christine Poole

Below is a message to all Guild Members, from Christine Poole, our Chairman:

To all Members of the Embroiderers Guild

It is difficult to believe that a year has passed since I last wrote to you - as Vice-Chairman and Acting Chairman of the Guild.

It has been another busy year – for me, for the Trustees, the Chief Executive Officer, the Guild staff and for you, the Members.

In April the Council welcomed two new Regional Chairmen – East Midlands and North West – and said sad farewells to the two retiring Regional Chairmen.  The Trustees and Executive Committee remain the same and we have placed details on the Trustee Bank website with the intention of attracting new Trustees who have skills and contacts to help us in our move forward.  The CEO and the Guild’s staff continue to work with us. 

Now as Chairman I have had the opportunity to meet many of you at your Regional Days, AGMs and Exhibitions, as well as at Branch meetings and exhibitions.  We have shared laughter and concerns.  As I appreciate, through membership of the Yorkshire & The Humber Regional Committee, Regional Chairmen and their Committees, together with their Branches, work hard in planning very successful Regional Days, AGMs, Exhibitions and Summer Schools.  The Regions, their Chairmen and Committees play an increasingly important part in the life of the Guild and its Chairman.  Your support of them is invaluable, through attendance at events and membership of committees.

Members have been able to visit the Guild.  The Finest Stitches Exhibition (items from the Collection) has visited various venues around the country and locations are being sourced for exhibitions in 2013.  Folios continue to be renovated and borrowed by Branches and Regions – if you haven’t done so already and would like to, please contact Annette Collinge, who continues to manage and oversee the Collection but is now assisted by the newly formed Folio Committee. 

Again the Guild has received welcome support from Twisted Thread (Knitting & Stitching Shows, Festival of Quilts), Coats (Regional Day competition prizes), Madeira (Regional Day sponsored lectures) and the Worshipful Company of Broderers (Broderers Prize).  It is important that these relationships, as well as new ones, are acknowledged by the Guild, its Regions, Branches and Members.  

As I write this, the Guild is responding, albeit at comparatively short notice, to a request from Twisted Thread/Upper Street to contribute for the first time to the First Steps Lounge at Knitting & Stitching Harrogate.  The Learning Curve is for the more experienced stitchers; First Steps for those starting out and may lead to the recruitment of Young Embroiderers’ and new Members.  Volunteers have come forward from the Yorkshire & The Humber, North West and North East Regions.  The idea is to hold one hour drop in sessions to attract young people and beginners, to introduce them to some basic stitches by way of easy projects that can be completed in an hour or so, or later at home.  I hope that some of you are going or will have been to Harrogate and seen for yourselves.  I look upon the Guild’s participation as a way forward in our partnership with Upper Street but be aware, if this is successful I may well be seeking more volunteers in the future for both Alexandra Palace and for Harrogate!

I hope also that you will have taken the opportunity, either at Alexandra Palace or at Harrogate, to visit the Graduate Showcase, speak with the Graduates and invite them to speak at your Branch or Regional meetings. 

Again I am looking forward to the Guild’s AGM in April, this time in Cheltenham – Springtime in the Cotswolds.  I am sure you will have been captivated by the colourful flyer produced by the organising Regions (South West and Wales) and that I will see you there – for all or part of the weekend’s programme of activities.  As you may have gathered by now, I do enjoy spending time with you.

My thanks go to the Guild’s members of staff.  They took me on as Vice-Chairman-elect a couple of years ago and have given me the benefit of their unstinting support, patience, advice and guidance throughout my time as Vice Chairman, Acting Chairman, Chairman-elect and now Chairman.  They dissuade me from reinventing any wheels, ease frustrations and provide encouragement in what I try to do.  But I am not alone in this - you will be aware of their help and support through your contact with them.

You all have worked very hard this year – registering, stewarding, planning, contributing in different ways – all for the love of what you do.  All you do is valued.  For many of us complete relaxation will not come until after the Season’s festivities are over but this is the time for me to wish you and your families a happy and peaceful Christmas and the very best for the New Year.  I am looking forward to seeing many more of you in 2013.


Christine Poole
Chairman of the Guild

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