Thousands feel the tug of hearts show

The Sawdust Hearts exhibition commences at the Woodend Museum Organiser Helen Birmingham with project executive Dorothea Newham
The Sawdust Hearts exhibition commences at the Woodend Museum Organiser Helen Birmingham with project executive Dorothea Newham

More than 3,000 visitors have descended on Woodend in Scarborough to see the 1,568 Sawdust Hearts World War One exhibition.

Spearheaded by Scarborough artist Helen Birmingham, the display of pincushion sweethearts marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.

“We had about 450 people through on launch day, about 300 at the Armistice service and a total so far – two weeks into four – of 3,000 visitors,” said Helen.

“Most northerly was a lady from Isle of Skye, most southerly was a couple from Channel Islands. People have come from London, the South Coast, Midlands and Liverpool, Newcastle and places in between,” she said.

Helen sent out heart kits to people across the country who then embroidered and 
returned them.

The idea was inspired by the pincushion made by convalescing soldiers and sent to their sweethearts and wives. Part of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.

The display has drawn thousands of comments registered in the visitors book.

Among them are:

Marvellous, such talent – Joan, Manchester

Stunning – worth the drive from South Wales – Andrea

Amazing – brings tears to the eyes and love to the heart – Margaret

1,568 Hearts runs at Woodend until Friday November 30. The gallery in Woodend is in The Crescent, Scarborough. It is open daily and entry to the exhibition is free.