Scores of handkerchiefs are to be displayed like bunting across Langton Place shopping parade, in Bury St Edmunds as part of the My WiSH Charity’s First World War trail.
It is part of a project organised by the charity, to help raise money for its Every Heart Matters appeal to raise £500,000 for a new cardiac unit at the West Suffolk Hospital, and Our Bury St Edmunds, the business improvement district (BID) in the town.
“The Hanky Line” is being created by Heidi McEvoy-Swift and Jacquie Campbell of Rojo Art with each handkerchief measuring 40cms square.
During the 1914-18 conflict souvenir handkerchiefs were produced as keepsakes or souvenirs all over Europe. There are many examples of hand embroidered handkerchiefs sent as gifts and mementos between soldiers and their loved ones at home.
Peace handkerchiefs were produced for the Peace Day celebrations on July 19, 1919 and were sold by street vendors at the celebrations.
Following workshops hosted by Heidi and Jacquie next month it is hoped that 100 handkerchiefs can be produced and there is also the opportunity to participate at home, simply email Rojoart3@yahoo.co.uk for further details.
Heidi said: “The Hanky Line idea came about when I was researching the celebrations for the end of the war and I came across Peace Day which was a public bank holiday created for celebration held on July 19 (which happens to be my birthday) 1919.
“One of the mementoes of this occasion seen in the Imperial War Museum is a programme of the day’s events printed on a handkerchief.
“These were available for sale from street vendors at the parade both on paper and on fabric.
“I was also very interested in the stitched mementoes and embroidered regimental insignia I looked at in the Anglian Regiment museum here in Bury and this gave me the idea of using embroidered hankies as part of an artwork.”
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH Charity is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.
The WW1 trail will feature 18 pieces, commissioned by local artists and sculptors, dotted in prime town centre sites and will be on show from July 4, through to Armistice Day, on November 11. At the culmination of the trail an auction will take place to sell off all of the pieces to go to the Every Heart Matters appeal.
Treatt, the leading beverage ingredient solutions manufacturer based in Bury St Edmunds, will be the main sponsor for the trail, and Daemmon Reeve, group CEO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to support this ambitious and exciting project which remembers the bravery of those who fought in World War One and is also helping to raise the £500,000 needed to fund the brand new cardiac centre at the hospital.”
If you want to support the Every Heart Matters appeal go to the websitewww.mywishcharity.co.uk and if you would like to donate to the appeal you can do so by going to: Justgiving.com/ehma or text EHMA17 £10 to 70070.