WWW.NTS.ORG.UKSUMMER 201247corner space overlooking the Kingarrock golf course,they work with scissors, sewing machines andneedles and thread on a mass of rich, red silkdestined for Culzean Castle. With great care, this silkis being transformed into a bed cover, valance,pelmet, curtains and hangings for the four-posterCulzean State Bed, recreating its original appearance.Ian Gow says: "I am incredibly grateful to thevolunteers for doing this work. They are wonderfullyenthusiastic, and without them we would have noway of getting this done. They make an outstandingcontribution."The group, founded in 1978 by June Baxter, now aTrust Vice-President, gets valuable support from theEast Fife Members' Centre, which has providedfunds to buy two sewing machines, a vacuumcleaner and supplies of thread and haberdashery. A list of items the group has made or worked onover the years ranges over the entire Trust estate.Here is a flavour: protective shoe covers forNewhailes; nursery chair cushions for Crathes Castle;a Highland Light Infantry banner at Brodie Castle;an embroidered screen for the House of the Binns;fitted covers for show cases at Alloa Tower; apatchwork quilt for Kellie Castle; curtains, bedhangings and re-upholstered chairs for Hill of Tarvit;dust covers for chairs and chests at Falkland Palace.Future projects include cleaning and repairs tocurtains from Drum Castle's Library and from CannaHouse.Alison, who also works with conservationvolunteers at historic properties not cared for by theTrust, such as Hopetoun House and Scone Palace,did a degree in tapestry weaving and drawing atEdinburgh College of Art. She went on to maketapestries for Henry Moore, but then developed aninterest in conserving, rather than creating.She says: "It's very enjoyable to work with thisgroup. We're doing serious work, but we also havefun, and get on very well. We go out for lunch andon occasional trips. I'm sure we'll go to Culzean tosee the bed when it's finished and in place." lThe textile conservation volunteers are not currentlylooking for new recruits, but there are plenty of otherways to help the Trust. See www.nts.org.uk/volunteering"I really lookforward to it.It's relaxing. I wanted to volunteer forthe Trust and I do a lot ofsewing athome, so this is ideal for me"Christeen AndersonFar left: carefulwork for theCulzean State Bed.Left: visitors toFalkland Palace areinvited to supportthe conservationeffort. Below:Falkland chapelkneelers, designedby SchombergScott, were thegroup's first project PEOPLE?
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