Peckover House in Wisbech has a warm and friendly atmosphere that encourages you to take your time and look leisurely around so that you miss nothing. The last time I visited I looked with even more interest and care than usual because I was there to enjoy a delightful exhibition of small textiles made by Angela Reynolds and inspired by Peckover House.
There were twelve pieces of work in the different rooms of the house. In the kitchen the window shutters were reproduced in fabric – an old cotton pillowcase. Inside the shutters are details of a day in the life of Ethel Rumsey, a servant in the house in the 1930s.
In the dining room a delightful quilted bag embellished with a perfect replica of the flower design which is on the handles of the dinner service tureens sat on the table and in the hall another bag was the floor in miniature, using natural matt fabric for the beige stone and a varnished black fabric for the marble squares.
My favourite pieces were in the Drawing Room and the Library. The windows have snob screens attached them allowing the family to see outside but not to be seen by passers by. Angel chose fabric that captures the way that one can glimpse the garden outside through the shutters. Many of the Peckovers were accomplished amateur artists so an appropriate article in the library was a sketchbook cover the design of which is derived from the metal grid in the fireplace.
A fascinating exhibit in the Museum Room was based on mottos, we all have a store of these I am sure, many of which remind us of former times. The mottos came from an old book called ‘Enquire Within About Everything’ – I wonder how many readers have a copy on their bookshelves? Angela stitched the mottos onto strips of fabric and interwove the strips to make another fabric – ‘The Fabric of their Lives’.
Thank you Angela for giving us such pleasure and inspiration.