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A stitch in time...

A stitch in time...

When 10-year-old Elizabeth Odell skilfully created this beautiful sampler in 1844 she could not possibly have known that it would be sold at auction to a collector more than 150 years later. Yet as part of the research for the Under One roof project, Elizabeth's artwork and its heartfelt prayer came up in an auction catalogue. Maybe she brought it proudly home from school. It may have hung on the parlour wall and it may even have been passed on to Elizabeth's children and even her grandchildren. I wonder if anyone still living in Shelton, maybe even one of Elizabeth Odell's descendants, knows anything about this tapestry. Or does its story end with the sale to an unknown collector. As part of the Under One roof project, which will not only repair the structure of the historic roof of St Mark's Church, but will also strengthen community foundations in the streets and homes around the "Cathedral of the Potteries", we are listening to the community's own stories. Lots of people have already got in touch, or attended one of our public meetings, to tell us of their memories of the school, church, people, families and history of Shelton. But we need to hear more. We need to hear from the very oldest residents and those starting out in life... from those who have lived every day of their long life in the shadow of St Marks' tower and from those who have made Shelton their new home after travelling many thousands of miles. We need stories from the shopkeepers, chefs, businesses, teachers, students, lecturers and workers who make Shelton such a vibrant community today. And we want to hear from people who remember the old days, when Shelton Bar lit the night sky bright red, when The Sentinel vans dropped several editions of the newspaper off every day, and when Wrights Pies factory was such a prominent landmark that Her Majesty The Queen was seen to mouth the words "Wrights Pies, Shelton" as she was driven past the bakery. Whatever your story you can share it with the Under One Roof Team and it be curated, collected and will become part of the whole community's story. So, in 150 years, or even further into the future, when people look back into Shelton's history, as well as reading Elizabeth Odell's prayer and seeing her embroidered picture of St Mark's Church, the reader could just come across your story too. You can keep in touch via our Facebook page where you can sign up to receive our regular newsletter at,

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