For Queen and crochet! Knitting-mad grandmothers make life-sized woollen model of monarch and 60 other people to give glimpse of village life in year of 1953 coronation
- Lois Gill originally started knitting the figures to raise money to refurbish their village hall in Caston, Norfolk
- It took her and group of others six months to create 15 scenes with 60 models, including the monarch herself
- They went through hundreds of balls of wool to mark the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation
A group of knitting-mad grandmothers spent six months and hundreds of balls of wool making a life-sized model of the Queen and 60 other people to recreate life in the year of her 1953 coronation.
Retired bank clerk Lois Gill, 67, first started work on her creation as a way to raise money for the refurbishment of the village hall and the church in Caston, Norfolk.
She recruited a group of fellow villagers to help her create 15 scenes to recapture village life in 1953 solely using wool.
Penny Evans, Lou Davies and Lois Gill pose with the lifesize model of Queen Elizabeth as she was at her coronation in 1953
It took the group, led by Mrs Gill, hundreds of balls of wool to mark the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation
Mrs Gill places the woolen crown atop the head of Queen Elizabeth at Holy Cross Church in Caston, Norfolk
A number of replica artefacts were also created out of wool for the celebration, including the Queen’s crown, robes and sceptre
The scenes, which include drinks in the local pub on Christmas Day, a couple baking in their kitchen and a man mowing his lawn, feature 60 different characters, as well as the Queen in all her coronation finery.
Mrs Gill said: ‘We needed to raise money for the church and I asked three different craft groups to be part of it because they all have different skill sets.
The Queen stands majestically at the altar, with a replica Union Jack at her feet. It took more than six months to create all the models
Up close detail of the rings created for the replica model. Also pictured are the golden bracelets worn by the model
The Queen’s crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The current crown was made in 1937 and is adorned with 2,901 precious stones
‘We really wanted to use people’s talents. A lot of ladies of our age enjoy knitting and crafting.
‘There are just two of us who actually create and dress the figures but we used knitted strips that had been made by those in the community and beyond.
‘We must have used thousands of squares for the figures but it is hard to say just how long goes into creating a single person.’
Mrs Gill and her group also made lifesize models of townspeople with a likeness to the town in 1953. This scene is representative of a corner shop
Fifteen different scenes featuring 60 different characters were created by Mrs Gill’s group in order to recapture village life in 1953
Mrs Gill said the group embarked on the project to ‘raise money for the church’. She asked three different craft groups to take part
After six long months, the woollen masterpieces were due to be displayed in the Church of the Holy Cross in Caston, Norfolk, but there wasn’t enough room for all of them so they used their gardens instead.
Mrs Gill said: ‘We hit upon the theme a few years ago when we were asked by The Forum, Norwich, to be part of their crafters event.
‘For their Makers’ Festival they aim to get rural crafters all under one roof and we created the major centrepiece for it.
‘It was the 65th anniversary of the coronation so the organisers asked if we could make a knitted Queen Elizabeth – and we did. That’s how we started with the 1953 theme, as a trip back in time.
The scenes include drinks in the local pub on Christmas Day, a couple baking in their kitchen and a man mowing his lawn
Mrs Gill said there wasn’t enough room to display all the scenes in the church, so participants started setting them up in their respective houses
A baker stands with real lifesize models of bread rolls, pastries and cakes in a stall
Mrs Gill said: ‘We must have used thousands of squares for the figures but it is hard to say just how long goes into creating a single person’
‘This year we didn’t have enough room because we only have one church so I decided to ask the people to open their gardens and house a tableaux.’
‘My family are proud of seeing what I’ve done but waking up in the middle of the night and finding Her Knitted Majesty the Queen on the landing has taken its toll.
‘I’m known for saying after each event that it is the last one that I’ll do.’
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