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NEWS > Alumnae News > A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time

A beautiful sampler cross-stitched by a young pupil at LEH in the last century has recently come to light.

The seven inch square was sewn by MaryAnn Emily Crossley in 1891 when she was 10 years old and attended Lady Holles’ Midddle School when it was still based in Mare Street, Hackney and the Head Mistress would have been Miss Ruddle.

A photo of this precious sampler, in amazingly good condition, was sent to us by MaryAnn’s proud granddaughter Deanna Prestige, who first heard about it when her cousin was clearing out her Mum’s things. Across the middle of the sample it says ‘MA Crossley’ and underneath is her age and then the name of the School.

“Nan was always very skilful with her needlework,” said Deanna.  “And her ability was obviously passed on to my family as Aunt Violet used to hand sew her own dresses and my Mother used to be called upon to cut out and sew various things when she was at School.  I also love sewing and have hand sewn my own curtains and cushion covers.”

MaryAnn married Charles Prestige, who was a gas fitter/building worker/house painter when she was 24 years old.  She went on to have six children, 18 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 44 great, great grandchildren.  She died in February 1961 aged 79yrs old.

“Nan was a bit strict,” says Deanna. “But my Mum used to say they were known as the laughing family as they were always so cheerful and ready for a laugh. We still miss her very much.”

If you have logged into your Holles Connect account, you will be able to see some photos of MaryAnn in her youth, with her husband Charles and then later in life.

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