Dorcas Stories: Pannel Croft Community Project

A large embroidered wall hanging. In large letters it says 'our journey' and there is a list of names and professions beside an embroidered section which looks like the bow of a boat, such as the Windrush.

The artwork made by residents of Pannel Croft.

Over seven weeks, a group of retired women residents worked collectively using their craft and textile skills to create a textile wall hanging. The project began with a discussion about arriving in the UK from the Caribbean. Participants brought personal items that represented their arrival and working lives or professions. These included: passports, visas, a handmade arrival dress, newspaper articles about their achievements, awards, trophies, payslips and tools.

They recounted stories of their first jobs or for those that came as children, their parents’ work. Some worked in factories, for example making metal parts for purses and handbags, special thread for insertion into tyres at Dunlop and upholstering for settees. One was an award winning hair dresser. Another refused to take a factory job and progressed into finance and purchasing. Many of the group had been nurses, dedicating themselves to the NHS for 30+ years. They talked about the professions that their children and grandchildren are involved in, including law, teaching, social work, construction, joinery and the police. The process of story telling revealed the broad range of professions that Caribbean people have contributed to in society and some of these are depicted on the textile.

Most had done knitting, crochet and sewing for themselves and others. Some came with sewing and dress making skills and others went to night school to learn. This textile aims to raise awareness of, and acknowledge, the significant contribution of Caribbean people to public life and culture in the UK.

A collaboration between Craftspace, Pannel Croft Village residents and textile artists Dawn Denton and Annette Ratti.

Sections of material on a wall hanging show a suitcase, some scissors. Text says 'Shirley, City Hospital' and 'Eva Nurse'.
An embroidered purse, text says 'Joyce, Factory, Purses'.

Where Next?

Dorcas Stories: Windrush Arrivals (1948 to 1962)

Finding craftspeople on the Windrush.

Evelyn Wauchop's landing card. A recreation of the card with her name and 'stowaway' written on it.

Dorcas Stories: We are Here to Stay (1962 to the 1980’s)

Stories of Caribbean immigrants.

In the foreground, part of a dress with a graphic bamboo pattern on it. In the blurred background is a sewing machine and a vintage handbag.

Dorcas Stories: Windrush Futures

Stories of the Windrush legacy.

Three women stand in a line with their backs to the camera and the sky visible in the background.

Dorcas Stories: Who or What is Dorcas?

Read about the history of Dorcas groups.

A bright vintage magazine with an illustrated cover showing a cotton reel, paint palette and rolling pin. Along side are a Dorcas label on a sewn item and a pin tin branded Dorcas.


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