Ruby Porter MBE has been professionally filmed giving a Talk about her work in Sreepur Village, Bangladesh at the Scotland Regional Day 2013. This DVD recording is now available for members to purchase from Embroiderers Guild House, 1 Kings Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 2RA. Cost £12.50(inc p&p)
Ruby Porter MBE had her usual popular Sreepur stall at Merseyside Embroiderers Guild Christmas party. She also brought the latest silk hand embroidered Sreepur quilt, which this year has a bird theme. It has now been raffled to raise funds for Sreepur Womens Refuge and Orphanage, Bangladesh.
The winners of the Sreepur Quilt Draw 2014 are- M. Gold, Liverpool, J.Moran, Liverpool, C. Herbert, Liverpool, C. Mason, Liverpool, and M. Sullivan, Maghull.
The Sreepur stall raised £236.00 and Sreepur Quilt Draw raised £600.00. All money raised will go to help fund Sreepur Woman’s Refuge & Orphanage in Bangladesh.
Ruby Porter MBE has just held her exhibition “Threading Dreams” in St Barnabus Church, Liverpool and has now departed Liverpool for a trip to Bangladesh. She will give us more noews about her travels when she returns. Liverpool Lord Mayor Erica Kemp paid Ruby a visit in St Barnabus, with her daughter The Lady Mayoress.
I am sorry to say I have had to change the date of the St Barnabus exhibition. It is now – Monday 22nd October 2014 to Saturday 25th October 2014 – as I have a Trustees meeting in London, and then
fly to Bangladesh with our daughter Janette. We are both looking forward to it.
I was invited to talk to the Christ The King Youth Group on Queens Drive, Liverpool. They were wonderful – they listened to my stories of my visit to Sreepur – they dressed up in the traditional clothes I have brought back from Bangladesh, a very colourful evening! I have been invited back close to Christmas so they can do more shopping from the Sreepur stall.
The following Monday I was with The Town Women’s Guild in Ellesmere Port. Another very pleasant evening – they liked the scarves and shoe bags which sold well.
Ken and our grandson Mathew abseiled from the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool on 9th August 2014. It went so well – something I could not do!!! My sister Kathy and I had a stall in an old army tent with sand bags and real soldiers. It was most enjoyable. They played all the old war songs and we had people singing along and dancing all day. We sold over £200.00. I do get to some places from
Buckingham Palaces to a Second World War tent. With the sponsorship money still coming in and sales on the day it will be over £800.00 Delighted!!
This week we had a most interesting afternoon at Alsager EG Branch. It is about 15 years since I visited this Branch and they were lovely. We raised over £200.00 for the mothers and children at Sreepur. They loved our Sreepur / Merseyside EG quilts.
Don’t forget Liverpool Town Hall exhibition starts on Monday 18th August 2014 (more info about the exhibition at the top of this page)
Ruby brought her latest Sreepur Quilt to our recent meeting of Merseyside Embroiderers Guild. This year the theme is “Birds”, and this is a preview of the as yet unfinished quilt. There are more squares to come, so if you have yet to embroider one, now is the time!
March/April/May 2014 update
I was invited to Litherland Hill Ladies Club – a very warm welcome on a cold
evening with Ken sat outside in the car. The next evening we went to Childwall W.I. – a small group, but so interested about my work at Sreepur. £400.00 was raised from these talks – how kind.
On 7th March once again I was invited to The Merseyside Special Schools Enterprise Event at Aintree Race Course, a wonderful day talking to the children and staff, who all worked so hard. Princes School were raising money for Sreepur. It was very moving- Ken and I did enjoy it so much.
8th March took us back to Liverpool Town Hall. I am always made so welcome by The Lord Mayor and all the excellent staff. It was a Fair Trade event – our daughter Janette helped arrange the event through her work at John Moore’s University. My sister
Kathy was selling for Sreepur at The Bluecoat with Merseyside Women’s Movement
on the same day, and we raised £200.00 that busy Saturday.
On 10th March we were at another W.I. Talk in Woolton. The large room was full of lovely people, some I had met before, and others listening to my story for the first time. I raised £500.00 – the scarves cards and other gifts sold well.
18th March was a trip up the motorway to Bradford. We did stop on the way at Rochdale to pass in the 300 cotton bags made at Sreepur for the North West Regional Day. The design was lovely with the first Co Op store in outline & they looked good. Then on to Bingley to talk to the Keighley & Bingley EG Branch. Ken and I had stayed at Howarth the night before so as not to be late. They loved my tales of the embroidery at Sreepur – an excellent morning. Once again over £500.00 was raised for our children and mothers at Sreepur.
On 20th March we went to the Wirral to Greasby Methodist Church. They invite me
often – lovely group. Ken was delighted when they sponsored him for his abseil down
Liverpool Cathedral in August – not bad for a 72 year old, and our grandson Mathew, age 18, will be with him.
The same evening I was at St Francis Church, Garston telling my story to all my friends and their friends using the slides I have now, or should I say Mathew has updated, from my visit to Sreepur in February 2014, which was the 25 Anniversary.
Next day off to Great Sankey, Warrington, to a room full of lovely people, men and women, who listened to my adventures in Bangladesh, and all about our children and mothers living in rural areas trying to earn money to feed their families doing embroidery and card decoration for Sreepur. All these events raised another £500.00.
24th March was the start of the “Threading Dreams”exhibition at St Barnabus Church, Penny Lane, Liverpool. An excellent week in this beautiful church – lots of visitors old and new buying their Mother’s Day gifts. Ken, Kathy and I are always made so welcome and we love being there. We raised £700.00. On the Friday Ken and I left Kathy at the church and we went down the motorway to Pershore in Worcester for a coffee morning for Sreepur. I was invited by The Mayor to Pershore Town Hall. Kirstie, who runs the Green Lids Co. (fair trade hats), had arranged the event as Parul, (one of our mothers who is disabled with a small son. Paural was one of our orphans who has lived at Sreepur most of her life. I have watched her grow into a lovely young women) makes the summer hats for Kirstie to sell. We are not a factory, we only make small orders, but they are selling well. We raised over £200.00. Charles The Mayor had lived in Bangladesh in the 1970’s and understood the problems. Back to Liverpool by 3 in the afternoon for the end of my exhibition.
April– my goodness March was busy! – an afternoon at Carlton House School, Liverpool, for their School Fair. Lovely children and staff- they liked the friendship bracelets and book marks they sold well.
3rd April saw us back on the Wirral at St Michael All Angels Church in Woodside. An excellent evening and my first visit to the church – the scarves sold well.
On 5th April I was invited to teach the Wirral Young Embroiderers. I have been going to this group for almost 30 years, they all worked so hard on the Bangladesh silk making a signature quilt and the mothers joined in. It looked lovely. Over £200.00 was raised at these events.
Kathy and I joined the Merseyside Young Embroiderers for a lovely party to
celebrate their 40th Anniversary. I have been teaching them once again for over
30 years. Val and Hilary put so much into organising their workshops, and it shows. Well done to you all!
On St Georges Day the Sreepur exhibition was back in Liverpool Town Hall- excellent
A busy weekend when I held a workshop for our Merseyside Embroiderers Guild. We dyed Sreepur scarves all bright colours hung on the line outside. What a
wonderful rainbow of colours.
I also talked about the natural dyes we use at Sreepur. An excellent day! In the evening, with my hands covered in dyes, I was the after dinner speaker at Woolton Ladies Dinner for 140 members. I have never seen table decorations like them, they all worked so hard and they enjoyed my presentation, and I raised over £600.00. Amazing!
The next morning back on the motorway at 7 am to go to Rochdale for the North West Regional Day. I sold Sreepur cards, scarves and gifts. It was a wonderful event, and with the cotton bags they had made at Sreepur, I raised over £1000.00. Wonderful!
Now into May and St Paul’s Church Widnes where we had a very interesting afternoon with both men and women, telling them about Sreepur. They liked the shoe bags and the embroidery cards sold well.
The next evening Ken and I went to a W.I. in Yscelfog, Wales which is a beautiful small village, and I told my story. They were lovely and raised £400.00 – how kind.
Now back at Halifax Inner Wheel where we raised £1000.00. Amazing! One of the members of Halifax EG Branch invited me as she was at my talk last year, it was an excellent evening.
A £3500.00 cheque arrived from a lady I met when I went to talk to a Weavers Guild in the Lake District last year. She was so taken with the work at Sreepur she raised this money – wonderful the people you meet.
Rubina M Porter
February 2014 update
A day of rest today. We are at the Green Party Conference tomorrow in St George’s Hall. They like our green items such as paper, cotton bags and natural dyes etc.
Ken and I returned from an excellent visit to Sreepur for the 25 Anniversary of Sreepur Village which was on 9th February 2014. Because of the political unrest over the last year it was difficult to ask UK sponsors to come to Bangladesh so, as Trustees, it was decided we would we attend the celebrations. The week before was busy with all the preparations. A stage was set up on the sports field for entertainment and our girls sang and danced beautifully for over 1000 local villagers and guests from Dhaka. Pat Kerr thanked them all and Trisha Sylvester, Chair of the Trustees, cut the ribbon at the gate to a loud cheer. Pat and Trisha launched our new logo. Stalls were set up selling food – the smell of the curry made us feel hungry. we sold small items made by the mother and our embroidery was on display.
I did spend my days with the mothers and girls doing our embroidery, weaving, and talking about new designs.
Paural had made all the summer hats, which was an order from the UK. Paural is one of our abandoned children. She is disabled and has been with us from a baby. She does the most beautiful embroidery – I bought an industrial sewing machine to use with your hands and she now sews the cotton bags, and any machine sewing we need. A few years ago she married one the guards they have a son. They all live in staff quarters at Sreepur. The Rochdale E.G. Branch cotton bags were all finished. All done with all the excitement of the events ahead.
Before we left Dhaka Ken and I, with the Trustees, went to a Celebration Dinner at the Regency Hotel in Dhaka – the end of a wonderful 2 weeks. Hope you like the photos-( you will find the photos on SREEPUR VILLAGE 2014 page )
No time for jet lag as 4 days later I was at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral for 10 days with the “Threading Dreams” exhibition which looked lovely with all the embroidery – some new from Sreepur. We have a new line which is scarves made from gassed cotton thread. Gassed thread is mercerized cotton thread that has been exposed very rapidly to a hot gas flame. This process removes the fuzz and excess first on the thread, giving it a brighter, smoother, slightly iridescent appearance. Gassed cotton threads are more expensive than regular mercerized cotton, Gassed thread is often used in fabrics such as poplin, voile and gaberdine, but its high quality makes it useful for most types of sewing or quilting.
The flower wall hanging made was made by the Altrincham E.G. Branch and the Sreepur girls stitched the background. It is a beautiful piece of work.
We raised £1300.00 for Sreepur and met the most lovely people and staff who enjoyed listening to my stories of my visit Dame Sarah Storey visited with her baby daughter and her parents. Dame Sarah is our new Patron and we are all delighted to see her.
On Monday I left my sister at the Cathedral and went with our daughter Janette to St Vincent’s School for children with sight problems. We had an amazing afternoon telling them all about Bangladesh. They put on the traditional dress of saris. I took some jewellery that jingled as they walked. An excellent visit to wonderful children and staff.
January 2014 further update
2014 has started well. I visited the Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale where the Sreepur silk signature quilt was on display. it looked beautiful along side other signature quilts made by Lynn Setterington. Lynn has worked on the quilts in the local community, whereas I worked with the mothers and children at Sreepur signing their name on the silk then embroidering over – it was a lovely project and we all enjoyed it.
The first meeting of Merseyside Embroiderers’ Guild was very well supported with an excellent speaker. I gave out more Bangladesh silk squares and asked for bird designs to go with the finished wall hangings of fish and flowers to be shown at my Threading Dreams Exhibitions.
I was invited to the Widnes Rotary Club Dinner last week. At this dinner last year I was made a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International ….in recognition of the tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world …. I was highly honoured and privileged to accept this award. The Widnes Rotary Club raised £2000.00 for Sreepur last year.
Paul from The Rococo Coffee House, 61 Lord St, City Centre, Liverpool L2 6PB is selling Sreepur cards again this year. If you are in town it is a lovely place to have a rest from shopping and enjoy a cup of coffee and good food.
More news and photos from the Sreepur 25th Anniversary celebrations when Ken and I return. I am going to be busy organising the making of 300 cotton bags for the North West Regional day in Rochdale, 80 scarves with the Widnes Soroptomist logo and the Lancashire Rose in embroidery, also Green Lids – the lady who runs this company emailed me to ask if our mothers at Sreepur could make Fair Trade summer hats, hence the name- we have an order for 50.
Rubina M Porter
January 2014 update (1)
I contacted Dame Sarah Storey on behalf of the Trustees of The Sreepur Village, Bangladesh and invited her to be a Patron of the charity. I am delighted to say Sarah accepted – we are all so pleased.
Sarah’s father went to Liverpool University and enjoys returning to visit. Sarah’s parents Mary & John support all my exhibitions in the city, they are a lovely couple.