Bunting made with love – you can tell

Image above: Chiswick Flower Market in September; photograph Frank Noon

When the Chiswick Flower Market was launched in September 2020 – the first new flower and plant market in London in 150 years – the organisers went all out to celebrate its birth. “Hang out the flags” went up the cry. The team begged and borrowed bunting and hired flags.

The flower market has been set up as a Community Interest Company, with a generous donation from Whitman & Co estate agents in Turnham Green Terrace to cover its initial costs, but even after the first market was such a resounding success, its operating budget is small.

Should Chiswick Flower Market spend precious funds buying bunting and flags? Sources close to the organisers have revealed the group was split. (OK full disclosure, the editor of The Chiswick Calendar is a director.) A bunting sub-committee was formed.

Images above: The Stitching Room, 10 Devonshire Rd, W4 2HD; photographs Ekaterina Harwood

Fortunately for Chiswick, there are community minded souls in our midst who are handy with a needle. Stitching Room on Devonshire Rd got busy. It’s a family business and owner Anna Wojciechowska, mother Mariola and sister Silvya all pitched in.

“We need to help each other, especially at this time” Anna told me, “and I believe in Karma”. She has owned the shop for seven years and carries out alterations and tailoring. She can now add bunting to her portfolio.

In olden times, or any time before March really, there would have been a group of women gathered together in a sewing circle (or a ‘bitch & stich’ as they are sometimes known). The bunting makers had to work separately. Laurence Game, Alice D Cooper, Jill Sinclair, Sue Irani and Tracy Kynoch all took in material at home and measured and cut and stitched under the distant  supervision of the Chiswick Flower Market’s design consultant Ekaterina Harwood.

Alice just happened to be cycling by and stopped for a chat at the wrong time. She knocked out 140 triangles on her grandmother’s 100 year old sewing machine.

“All part of helping to rejuvenate Chiswick and make it look jolly” she says. “It’s going to be so drab and dull over the next few months, we need a bit of colour”.

Laurence is an old hand at community sewing. She was one of those who put together the ‘Chiswick Without Borders‘ tapestry which now hangs in Chiswick Library showing where in the world  Chiswick people originally came from.

“For me it’s all about being part of the community. These are such strange times when we can’t have a normal social life, it’s nice to be part of a community effort”.

Images above: Amanda Parker, one of the Chiswick Flower Market organisers, sorting out bunting

Now all that remains to be done is to put it up, which you may see Amanda Parker and Steve Nutt doing on Saturday. If you would like to help out with the Chiswick Flower Market, we are on the look out for marshals to work either 8.00am – 12.00pm or 12.00 – 3.00pm on Sunday. Contact info@chiswickflowermarket.com

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Flower Market is back, 1 November

See also: Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants at Chiswick Flower Market

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