Monday, 25 January 2010

Margaret Ellerby, Ackworth School and Me

Another question I am frequently asked is how did I get involved with the samplers at Ackworth School. There are some things in life that are not planned, and in 2003, Ackworth School did not figure on my radar at all. I was invited by the curator of Haslemere Educational Museum to record their sampler collection. (Haslemere sits under Black Down which is a landmark seen from the top of our hill). It was an exciting time for me, having just completed recording the collection at Guildford Museum. But I have to say that it was not Margaret Ellerby's sampler that at first caught my eye. Instead, it was a fabulous 17th century Dutch sampler which had somehow found its way there. But Margaret Ellerby's was the next sampler to have my undivided attention. It looked like an Ackworth School sampler, and since there were a batch of samplers which had migrated south from the north of England, we sent an image to Fred Davies, then curator at Ackworth, to confirm this - or not. Sadly, the answer came back that Margaret had not attended Ackworth. However, there were two Ellerby boys at school about the same time this sampler was worked, and another boy who attended some years later. So we conjectured that Margaret was their sister and had somehow had contact with the school, though not as a scholar. It was through Margaret that my links with Ackworth School were established - and as the saying goes - I have never once looked back.


  1. How great for you and all of us that Margaret took you on that journey!

  2. Life is full of wonderful coincidences, isn't it!