Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sad news of Urchfont Manor

I have very sad news about Urchfont Manor College. Wiltshire Council has decided it must close to save money. So unless some rescue plan or fairy godmother comes forward, it will close its doors in September 2012. I am sorry that the devoted staff will lose the jobs they all do so well.

I can't say how sad this makes me to lose such a wonderful venue as I have been teaching at Urchfont since 1982 as a young embroidery tutor alongside Val Campbell Harding. I have become fond of the heroic staff who give their services so cheerfully. My husband has worked out that I have spent a whole year of nights slept there in total!

Events such as the Distant Stitch Summer School will go ahead as usual this year and Mandy has said that they will make sure it is one to remember. So this will be your last chance to meet up at Urchfont - so sign on now before it is full. Even though the venue for the 2013 is yet not known, two tutors have been booked already so be assured it will take place and we will establish a new Summer School 'home. It will be difficult to find somewhere as good as Urchfont, but I will try my best.

Urchfont is the City and Guilds Examinations Centre for Distant Stitch. This will be re-located to another similar Centre in due course so all business with City and Guilds will continue as normal as far as students are concerned.

Similarly with the Masterclass weekends I tutor, a new home will be found for us to meet up for our weekends together.

To remind you of those lovely days at Urchfont, take a look through the Summer School pics on the Distant Stitch website and wonder back through the years to see Urchfont Manor and fellow students and their work. 

Walking around the gardens at Urchfont on a recent frosty day.


  1. I cannot say how sad it makes me to read these news, I am totally in love with Urchfont Manor and can well imagine your feelings. Let's hope for a solution to come up, so many victims this period of crisis is letting on the ground everywhere

  2. Very sad news, Urchfont is the perfect setting for a few days of stitching and meeting up with old friends.

  3. I definately agree with meg and daniela. Its a real treat to come to Urchfont away from the hustle and bustle and that wonderful cottage garden! Lets wish for the fairy godmother! on an up note though what wonderful colours on that frosty grass.

  4. Urchfont Manor has become yet another victim of council cuts, just another irritating expense on a balance sheet. I am not surprised that the decision makers at Wiltshire County Council (who clearly lack the foresight and imagination required to develop Urchfont Manor into something quite wonderful) have taken the decision to close it. But then, foresight and imagination is a quality sadly deficient amongst the echelons at Wiltshire County Council, so Urchfont will remain an opportunity missed.