Happy memories of my friend Audrey

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In Romania – 2007. Audrey, our guide Cristian and, between them, a lovely hospitable man, who with his wife, worked on processing woollen cloth in the traditional way, in a fast-running diverted stream

Last year I lost two precious Audreys – my mum in March and my friend Audrey Duck in June. Audrey D. was even more fascinated by Russia and Russian culture than I am, if that’s possible, having first been captivated by watching Russian ballet. She and her husband Peter went to Russia many times, always seeking out art galleries and museums, especially those with textiles, dress and folk art. She had a great knowledge and understanding of printed textiles especially, having been for many years the archivist for G.P. & J. Baker, a long-established producer of furnishing fabrics, many designed by such luminaries as C.F.A. Voysey, L.P. Butterfield and the Silver Studio.  In 1984 Audrey was involved in the exhibition ‘From East to West: Textiles from G.P. & J. Baker’, at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Audrey served on the committee and organised events for the UK Textile Society for much of its thirty-two-year history. I first met her in 2002 when I signed up for a trip she was organising to Russia for the Society.  I’ve put together a book of photographs to record the trips I went on with her.  Most were with Textile Society groups – to Russia in 2002 and 2011, to Poland in 2006 and Romania in 2007.  Audrey and I also went together to Ukraine in 2005. Click on this link to see the photo book.

Audrey’s home was very near mine so we saw each other quite often. The last time I visited her there was when we were preparing for a presentation we were to make about Russian textiles at Haslemere Museum. I took over some pieces from my own collection and we spread those out, together with hers, and we were both in our element. I miss her very much.

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