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the Young Embroiderers story

Y.E.S. image

Y.E.S. is launched
in Spring 1974
An advertisement like this appeared in the Spring 1974 issue of Embroidery magazine and from this small beginning grew the organisation that was to become first the YTG, and now Young Embroiderers.
6-year-old Joanna Boyd
is the first member
Beginnings
It was largely because of Lynette de Denne, embroidery consultant to the Guild and the editor of Embroidery, that the Y.E.S. was born, and its first member ever was 6-year-old Joanna Boyd. Joanna remembers paying her first subscription with her birthday money! When she was 5 she had gone to a children's embroidery course in the Drawing Room at Wimpole Street, which used to be the Embroiderers' Guild headquarters. Joanna was given hessian with a felt house sewn on, and she added windows and a door and began to embroider flowers in the garden.
groups form
all over the country
members receive
regular newsletters
De Denne bursaries
are set up
1980s
During the 1980s the Y.E.S. held regular workshops at Hampton Court Palace, where the Guild now had its HQ. Groups were formed all over the country, some in schools, some attached to local branches of the Guild. Led first by Vicky Lugg and then by Christine Cooper, the Young Embroiderers' Society grew and grew. Children in the Y.E.S received a newsletter three times a year, and a fund was set up in memory of Lynette de Denne to provide bursaries for regular competitions.
10th birthday exhibition
in Salisbury
10 years old
Y.E.S. celebrated its tenth birthday in 1984 with an exhibition at the Clarendon Festival in Salisbury. The review of the exhibition remarks on the high standard, diversity of images and obvious enjoyment of the young embroiderers.
Group Leaders' conference
Y.E.S outings
and Family Days begin
1990s
Some of the individual groups were feeling isolated, so the first Group Leaders' conference was held in Birmingham in 1990. Anne Coleman, Y.E.S. chairman from 1989 to 1991, encouraged the regions to become more involved, so Y.E.S. outings and Family Days began.
name changes to Young Textile Group Young Textile Group
In 1991 the name was changed to Young Textile Group, which more accurately reflected the wealth of varied work produced, and matched the terminology used in education. Chris Berry became the chairman in 1991, and the regions each gained a liaison officer. A second Group Leaders' conference was held in Chorley in 1993, along with a very successful travelling exhibition A Splash of Colour, which visited five venues and ended up in Glasgow at the same time as the adult Guild exhibition, The Riches of Stitches. The YTG produced a special newsletter, also called The Riches of Stitches, which is still available.
YTG reaches 21!
Pantomime dress appears on Blue Peter
Tex gets his name
Celebrations
The YTG began 1995, its 21st birthday year, with an appearance on Blue Peter, the long-running children's BBC programme. Tim Vincent wore the Dame's Dress embroidered by Katie Gilks for the Pantomime exhibition. Muriel and Philip Best became editors of the newsletter, which from 1996 was known as the project book. Kate Kennedy gave Tex his name - since he'd first bounced into the project books in 1994, nobody had known what to call him!
changes of staff and the YTG hits the Internet Changes
In Spring 1997 Chris Cannon became the YTG chairman, taking over from Chris Berry. The number of groups had grown to around 80, from Stirling to Solent and Norwich to North Wales. In June 1997 the YTG became one of the first textile craft organisations in the UK to have its own web site, which is currently attracting around 1200 new visitors every month.

The Traditions exhibition of the Embroiderers' Guild toured throughout Britain in 1997 and a YTG booklet, also called Traditions was produced to accompany the exhibition. Clare Butterfield took over from Celia Stanley as YTG administrator in September 1997.

up to date

Today
The YTG is now called Young Embroiderers, emphasising that its members are young members of the Embroiderers' Guild. A new look magazine, exciting competitions, new people and new ideas will take us into the future...

Based on Congratulations and Celebration by Chris Berry, The World of Embroidery Vol 64(4), © The Embroiderers' Guild 1995 - 2011

 

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