Crediton town centre has come alive this week with a fabulous display of colourful handmade flags, each one individually designed and made by local people.
Crediton Town Team has been flagging up the town every summer since 2013, and to mark this anniversary, as well as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, they have also decorated the town square with handmade bunting. Flag Project coordinator Rosemary Stephenson reports.
The flags have become an integral part of summer in Crediton. In this special Jubilee year we’ve not only added nine new flags to our collection, but thanks to extra support from the Town Council and the National Lottery we’ve been able to make 100 metres of gorgeous bunting to decorate the town square for the Jubilee.
The Flag Project started as a one-off event during the 2013 Crediton Festival. We wanted to brighten up the town with some striking artwork which would celebrate the diversity of its commercial and cultural life. Rather than buying printed flags we were inspired by the Mortonhampstead Flag Festival to involve the community in making our own.
But the flags proved so popular that we’ve run the project every year since. We had no idea when we started that we would still be making flags 10 years later!
In the first year we made 40 flags and we’ve added to our collection every year. Of course the flags become worn and damaged by the weather, so this year we’ve repaired 30 flags, while nine shops and groups have made new flags. Some, such as Sustainable Crediton and Sarah’s Barbers, have replaced their worn flags. Others, such as The Ship Hotel and Crediton Youth Club have joined the project for the first time.
The flags are made from colourful ripstop nylon, offcuts supplied by a hot air balloon company. Each one is individually designed to represent a shop or group, with the help of local artist Charlotte Turner, who has been the creative director since the project started.
Every weekend since Easter, Charlotte has been running flag making workshops at the White Room Creative Space on Lords Meadow Industrial Estate.
Each participant attended a one-to-one design session where Charlotte helped them turn their ideas into a design. A team of amazing volunteers then used these designs to make the flags.
The flags are quite tricky to make, involving a special sewing technique called reverse appliqué. Each one can take several days to make.
This year the Town Team wanted to involve more people in the project as well as decorate the town square for the various Jubilee celebrations.
Working with Kenwyn Care home, Charlotte and activity coordinator Lizzie Batley helped the residents to create some celebratory designs. These were then transformed into 48 mini bunting flags at workshops held over several days at Colebrooke Village Hall.
We hope some of the residents will be able to enjoy the bunting at their special Jubilee Cream Tea event in the town square on 3 June.
The Town Team is especially grateful to the Town Council for their financial support, to Crediton Rotary Club for installing and taking down the flags and to our brilliant team of volunteer flag makers.
The Town Team is a group of volunteers who work to make the town a great place to live. You can find out more about their projects on their website
Charlotte Turner is a contemporary artist who lives near Crediton. You can see more of her work on Instagram