An exhibition featuring a painstakingly accurate copy of The Bayeux Tapestry, which took 33 years to complete, has opened on our doorstep at the new council offices in Melton – and I would urge you to get along to see it.
The original tapestry was actually created by English nuns and depicts the events that led up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when we were defeated by the French and the make up of our county changed for ever. There has been much talk recently of negotiating to bring the original back to England – but whether that happens or no – this is your chance to see it now in a form that brings it to life and gives you an accurate experience of everything contained in the original.
The piece was created by Michael Linton and his daughter Rachel using tiny pieces of steel from the cogs of knitting machines that Michael used to work on. The teeth from the cogs were broken off and stuck on masking tape which then made a metal background on which the details of the tapestry have been painstakingly painted. Not satisfied with just recreating the original they have added a 22 metre piece to tell the Battle of Fulford and the Battle of Stamford Bridge and a final 8 metre section depicting the events from 14th October to the crowning of William the Conqueror on Christmas day 1066.
The whole creation is 64 meters long in total, contains 3,000,000 tiny pieces of steel and weighs approximately 350 kilos.
It will be displayed at the Riduna Park development, behind the offices of Suffolk Coastal District Council, from 10am-4pm Wednesday – Sunday every week until Feb 16th.
Its £5 to get in – although once you’ve bought your ticket you can return as many times as you wish – and Michael Linton will be on hand every day to explain about its conception and creation.
This exhibition is the latest in a long line for the piece which travelled from the artists’ home in New Zealand, to the UK last year for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, and local historian Charlie Haylock was the first to spot the potential for an exhibition in Suffolk for the world record breaking piece whilst on holiday in Oxfordshire.
Mr Haylock struggled to get the exhibition into a number of local landmarks without success so he put an appeal in the East Anglian Daily Times and on BBC Radio Suffolk in October. Woodbridge Mayor Clare Perkins saw the plea and decided to try and secure the exhibition for the east of the county, which she successfully did.