The Wardle Centenary Steering Group was responsible for a very successful exhibition featuring Thomas Wardle of Leek, Staffordshire. The exhibition in 2009 was one of four in2009, which celebrated the life and work of Thomas Wardle on the centenary of his death. ‘Wardle the Man’, Leek 2009; ‘Dye, Print, Stitch: Textiles by Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle’ in Macclesfield Cheshire 2009; ‘The Manchester Indian’, at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 2009; ‘Experiments in Colour, The William Morris Gallery, London 2009.
A number of churches in the Leek region also took part on the 2009 celebrations with displays of magnificent Leek embroideries produced by Lady Elizabeth Wardle and many other talented Leek women.
The exhibitions were very well attended and created a lot of wide-spread interest in both Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle. The production of a website was felt to be essential to disseminate knowledge on a global basis and to broadcast information on future events and publications. The website has been funded by a grant allocated by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to the Wardle Centenary Project (2009).
Following this success a research group was formed to develop further research on the Wardle family and the textiles they produced in Leek. It aims to encourage study and documentation of this creative family and their remarkable legacy.
As interest continues to grow we are now planning a major exhibition in 2013 with linked events such as talks, walks and workshops; two more publications are also planned.
From all this work and using some of the remaining Heritage Lottery Grant received for the 2009 exhibitions, the research group have set up this website to act as an archive and repository for the content of the exhibitions and other material pertinent to the Wardle family, their life and their work and legacy.
We hope you enjoy your visit and please do stop by as we will regularly update the website,
The Wardle Heritage Team.