The Country Wife
'The Country Wife' textile mural was designed by Constance Howard for the 1951 Festival of Britain. It was constructed by Constance with help from her students at Goldsmiths College and assisted by Women's Institute (WI) members on craft aspects such as canework and glove making. The work measures 4.5 metres x 5 metres so is quite something!
Apparently, when the piece was on show at the Festival some of the 3d items, such as the fish on the table (far left of mural), were so tempting to the public that they were stolen on a regular basis requiring replacement pieces to be kept in reserve.
When the festival was over the piece was given to the National Federation of Women's Institutes and has remained at Denman College ever since.
The piece is currently undergoing some restoration work (for which volunteers are still required) at the National Needlework Archive at their New Greenham Park premises in Newbury.
If you'd like to find out more go to: http://www.nationalneedleworkarchive.org.uk/