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16 Sep 2014

A stitch in time launches University’s 175th anniversary celebrations.


The anniversary quilt with some of the members of the group that helped create it.

The University of Chester’s 175th anniversary programme of events and celebrations was launched last week at the official unveiling of a handcrafted commemorative quilt, stitched by staff and alumnae from the institution.

Unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Bob Rudd, and the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mrs Susan E Sellers, the quilt represents the journey of the former Chester Diocesan Training College which was founded in 1839, to the present fully fledged University with international status.

Each block from the two-metre square quilt, depicts an element of the University’s history and was designed and carefully crafted by one of the 17 members of staff or alumnae involved in the project.

The intricate quilt took just over 12 months to create, with the final 25 blocks being stitched together by some of the members of the group, and transformed into the finished quilt at the Quilter’s Trading Post in Buerton, Cheshire.

Themes illustrated in the quilt include: the founders of the original College, including a Prime Minister and two Archbishops of Canterbury; international students; friendships; the University’s inauguration; the Eastgate clock; the River Dee and Handbridge; the City Walls; the University formal crest; iconic buildings across the different campuses and the University’s commitment to sustainability.

The grand reveal, which took place at the University’s new Grosvenor House building on the Parkgate Road Campus, Chester, was also attended by the Right Reverend Dr Peter Forster, Lord Bishop of Chester, who chairs the University’s governing body, as well as members of the sewing group, staff, alumni, and invited guests. A specially designed cake in the shape of a sewing box was also made for the occasion by Jackie Rowlands, Chef at the University.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler said: “The 175th anniversary quilt is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship which will be admired by students, staff and visitors to the University for many years to come.  The official unveiling was the perfect launch to the University’s 175th anniversary celebrations, my special thanks goes to Fiona Roberts, Alumni and Development Manager for her co-ordination of this project.”