Percy Sheldrick - A Biography

Percy in 1976
At work on a tapestry in Merton Abbey
Embroidered Cushion Cover. Worked in 1953 for the Coronation and won as a raffle prize by Mrs Haylock
In WW1 uniform of the 4th Bedforshires
Percy with his wife, Ethel

1890: Percy Sheldrick was born in Ashwell in 1890

1900: At the age of 10 he visited an old lady who taught him how to crochet and on reading a book he discovered the art of embroidery.

1912: Certificate of Merit in embroidery for a banner of ‘The Good Shepherd’. It was latter shown to Sir George Frampton ( co-founder of the Central School). He said Percy was just the sort of chap he wanted.

Served in France

1915: He enlisted in 1915, served in France with the 4th Bedfordshires

1918: Discharge wounded in August

1918: Two year course in Tapestry at the Central School of Art

Worked for Morris and Co

1921: Started work for Morris and Co at Merton Abbey as a tapestry weaver

1922: Married Ethel Holben

1939: Left Merton Abbey

1950: He retired as clerk at the Hertfordshire Rubber Company in Letchworth.

1959: His Wife, Ethel, dies

1966: He made a specially embroidered altar cushion for the 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey. This was dedicated to the shrine of St Edward by the Dean, the Very Rev. Eric Abbott, when handed over by Percy, who, with Cannon John Catterick and Many Ashwell People, made a pilgrimage to the Abbey on 2nd July, 1966.

1966: In July a large tapestry, ‘The Risen Christ’, made by Percy, was dedicated in Ashwell Church.

Queen Mother Visits

1969: The Queen Mother visits Percy at his home in Ashwell. The Queen mother was visiting the Fordhams and paid a private visit to Ashwell seeing the Church, the Museum and Percy Sheldrick.

1972: Lady Bowes Lyon opened an exhibition of his work in Ashwell and unveiled a sampler commissioned by the Friends of Ashwell Museum. The exhibition contained over 40 pieces of the Mastrer Weaver and embroiderer.

1979: He lived at 7, Back Street for his later years and died in Royston Hospital on 24th October 1979.



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