THE Usk Tapestry, a community project involving more than 50 volunteer stitchers over nine years, was unveiled by the Mayor of Usk, Councillor David Harding, at a private view in the Barn at Usk Castle.

The tapestry went on public display over the weekend.

Speaking for all the stitchers, Beccy Paget said: "I have learned so much by being a part of the Tapestry.

Beccy spoke movingly about the spirit of camaraderie among the stitchers: "We have been privileged to be a part of something truly magical and dare I say spiritual. So many people I speak to in my profession and among our group of stitchers speak of how sewing/stitching has therapeutic qualities, losing yourself in the colours, the concentration required to sew and the joy of creating. Daily troubles and problems drift away for a few hours, leaving you feeling relaxed and more able to tackle life's ups and downs. Over the years some of our stitchers have lost loved ones, overcome illnesses, but the friendships made have made those sad times more bearable."

Beccy added: "There have been the happy times, with new children born into loving families, successes and life went on. The stitching went on and the tapestry grew and we all grew with it. But I think we can all say we have learned the most important lessons of all: never give up, follow your dreams, and keep going because there is something grand about being a part of something truly amazing! The Usk Tapestry!"

Chairman of the Usk Tapestry Committee, Hamish Sandison, said: "The Usk Tapestry would not exist without its stitchers. This is above all their achievement. "But I also want to pay tribute to the professional team that led them: Susie Martin and Sarah Windrum. Susie created the design; she is the artistic inspiration for the Tapestry. Sarah is the professional tapestry maker who oversaw every stitch and ensured that Susie’s artistic vision was translated faithfully into a very different medium. Both Susie and Sarah were invited to speak, but chose not to; in fact begged not to! But I think you’ll agree with me that their artistic inspiration and professional skill speaks for itself in what you see before you."

Mr Sandison also referred to the future of the Tapestry: "The Committee," he said, "is committed to ensuring that the tapestry remains safe and publicly accessible in perpetuity. We are still looking for a permanent home for it. If you have any suggestions, please let us know."

He added that "the Tapestry is moveable, so we are also keen to find temporary exhibition venues. We expect to show it at the Senedd in Cardiff later this year, probably at the Usk Show in September, and possibly at the Eisteddfod in Abergavenny next year".

For more information, please contact the Secretary of the Usk Tapestry Committee, Dee Bury, on 01291 672371 or via email to

The Usk Tapestry Group has received financial and other support from Age Concern, the Arthur Griffiths family, the Church Trust Fund, Gwanwyn, the Laura Ashley Foundation, Monmouthshire Active Communities, the New Grove Trust, Rural Community Action, the Usk Mayor's Fund, the Usk Garden Centre

Llanbadoc, Usk Open Gardens, Usk Town Council, and Waitrose in Abergavenny, among others.