27 June 2002

Wall map was a labour of love

MAKING a colourful wall hanging that was admired by thousands of showgoers was a labour of love for 15 Monmouthshire ladies.

The team, led by Nina Rogers, whose family run an agricultural fencing company, spent more than 250 hours on the project. They used a range of skills, including quilting, applique, embroidery and fabric painting, to create their map of Old Monmouthshire, the featured county at the show.

The idea started with the county committee that is attempting to raise £100,000 to build a new main entrance to the show site at Builth Wells. It was passed on by Sian Lloyd, who is a member of the committee and of the Castle Quilters, a group that meets twice a month in a tiny hall in the village of Llanfoist. "The traditional quilt is an important part of the heritage and culture of Wales and making them requires tremendous skill and artistry," says Mrs Lloyd.

The map will go on permanent display to mark Monmouthshires very significant contribution to the 2002 show and the development of the showground.

The design was taken from a map in an ancient book entitled English Counties Illustrated. All group members contributed something from their personal fabric stores, including some brought back from the US that was ideal for the walls of Raglan Castle.

One feature not shown on the original map, but very relevant to a show that has a massive horse section, is the grave of Sir Harry Llewellyns Olympic gold winning show jumper Foxhunter. It is located on the Blorange mountain close to where the quilters meet.

Sian Lloyd believes the project encapsulates the enthusiasm people have for the Royal Welsh Show.