Sunday 11 July 2010

Pamela Clabburn - Forget Her Not

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Pamela Clabburn on 2nd July. She was and continues to be a shining light for me. I first met her at Carrow House where she was holding court with a group interested in Norwich Shawls. Then when I was working on the Quaker School Girl Samplers from Ackworth book, I phoned her with a question about possible links between the Ackworth medallions and watch papers in the Norfolk and Norwich museums which she had mentioned in one of her books. She listenend patiently and when I had finished waited a couple of seconds and then posed me a question, "Do you know how old I am?" To which I had no reply..... for me she was somewhere between 40 and Eternal. Since she died aged 96, she must have been over 90 at the time of my request. She amusedly confessed she didn't have the answer quite at the tip of her tongue, but asked me call back in a day or so when she would have been able to remind herself. She actually retired over 35 years ago. A daughter of a Norfolk Shawl Mill family, Pamela served as an army nurse during WWII. She was curator of Strangers' Hall Museum in Norwich in from 1964 - 1974 during which time she was largely responsible for the wonderful textile and costume collection which included her beloved Norwich shawls. She is the author of: The Needleworker's Dictionary, Samplers, Beadwork, Masterpieces of Embroidery, Shawls, Patchwork, The National Trust Book of Furnishing Textiles and to coincide with Norfolk Museums' exhibition in 1995 of their collection of Norwich shawls, in 1995, The Norwich Shawl. 1n 1999 Pamela was deservedly created MBE.
Thank you for all the light you shone on our world, Pamela, we sha'n't forget you.


  1. This is so sad - who doesn't have a number of her books in our libraries? And what an inspiring lady!


  2. What a loss to the needlework world! I have books of hers on my shelf also. I had no idea she was that old! RIP....

  3. What remarkable woman, how blessed you are to have gotten to know her thanks for sharing that blessing