The girl on the wall was a photo of eleven year old Jean Baggott, taken in 1948. She was an ordinary girl, full of hope for the future, but a product of her time and not expected to achieve anything beyond marriage and motherhood. But on New Year's Eve 1999 the woman that young Jean had become made a promise to herself - to live more for herself rather than for others. Inspired by the ceilings of Lincolnshire's Burghley House and by the History degree she had begun, Jean began to stitch a tapestry which looked back at her life and the changing world around her. It took sixteen months to complete.
The tapestry consists of over 70 intersecting circles and each circle is accompanied by a vignette from Jean's life. This is a charming and very personal story that encompasses the deprivations of war and the post-war period, her family life and growing from childhood to adulthood, her enduring love of the music of Pink Floyd and the book The Lord of the Rings, her observations of the effects of 'progress' on her daily life and the changing face of popular culture. Her story reveals an ordinary life in extraordinary detail. The result is a truly unique, touching portrait of a seemingly average British woman's life. To stand back and look at the tapestry is to be struck by the richness of one human journey, from 1940 to the present day. The girl on the wall would be proud.
Jean Baggott was born in 1937 and lives in Warwick. She has lived in various parts of the Midlands for most of her life and remains passionate about her Black Country roots. She is now in her final year of a degree in History at the University of Warwick.