You probably haven’t had much cause to think about the British Embroiders’ Guild – a group of about 4,000 members devoted to making art from needles and threads. And if you have, you probably haven’t thought of it as a hotbed of radicalism. But Cross Stitch – An Embroidery Scandal, this week’s Tortoise File, is here to make you think differently.
Remember the Handforth Parish Council meeting that went viral earlier this year? That had nothing on this: a story of high executive salaries, questionable sell-offs and financial recriminations. The Guild’s members are now fighting back to preserve their passion from what they regard as the market-minded interventions of men in suits. It’s the story of consultancy culture’s assault on a community; money spoiling a hobby; capitalism vs craftivism.
Tortoise’s own community will gather at this week’s ThinkIns:
- At 6.30pm today, as 1990s nostalgia takes over, we ask: why? Was the decade of Britpop, New Labour and Euro 96 really better at all?
- Tomorrow morning, our business breakfast ThinkIn with Michelle Mitchell, the CEO of Cancer Research UK, on the health crisis left in Covid-19’s shadow.
- On Wednesday evening, we’re joined by Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, to talk about Labour politics and Britain’s place in the world.
And we’re particularly excited about the special ThinkIn we’re holding on Thursday. Tortoise went live at the start of April 2019. To celebrate, we’re holding our second birthday ThinkIn, a digital open house with reminiscences, some future-gazing, and, of course, the drinking of cocktails. I really hope you’ll join us.
Two years, one of them spent under lockdown during a pandemic, isn’t just a birthday – it’s a milestone. We couldn’t have got started or got this far without you, our members. A heartfelt thank you.
Editor & co-founder