The Longest Yarn

Please note the dates of 9-27 September 2024 are still tbc whilst we await final haulage details from France – please check back before visiting.

D-Day 80th anniversary commemorated as The Longest Yarn comes to Southwell in UK-first

The Longest Yarn is an 80m 3D depiction of that fateful day, 6th June 1944, in wool art.

With 80 displays, each measuring one metre in length, depicting scenes of the world’s largest amphibious invasion, The Longest Yarn is something quite unique and not to be missed. The scenes include the build-up to D-Day in England, the horrors on the Landing Beaches and the bloody inland battles.

The installation will be first on display in Carentan, France, in May, before coming to Southwell Minster from 9-27 September.

Created with guidance from professional historians to be accurate, each scene has been selected by the creator to depict the story of this momentous day in history.

Some of the scenes depict actual WW2 veterans that were in the theatre of war in Normandy on 6th June plus the lesser-known events in local towns and villages in Normandy, whilst sandbags, filled with sand from the Normandy beaches, will be used to weigh down the structures showcasing the art.

Over 1,000 knitters from across the world, including the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and even people with NATO stationed in Europe, have joined in to help make this project happen.

Tansy Foster, who came up with the idea and has lead the operations from France said:
One of my favourite scenes that will be on display is the depiction of the famous moment Lord Lovat and Piper Bill Millin crossed Pegasus Bridge, and another is when he plays his pipes on Sword Beach. Piper Millin’s son donated his father’s favourite jumper to us which we unravelled (frogged) and used the wool to knit the figures of Piper Bill – it’s given a real poignancy to these scenes.

The Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, Dean of Southwell commented: “We are honoured to be the first place in the UK to host this prestigious exhibition. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Southwell to view these scenes from what is one of the most important days in European history. We are extremely grateful to our friends at Rainbow Nightfreight who have kindly agreed to collect the exhibition from France and bring it over, free of charge. Our thanks also to Brittany Ferries who have waived their transport costs.”

The exhibition is free of charge and runs from 9-27 September 2024 (dates tbc, please check back before visiting). An accompanying book will be on sale, giving more information on each of the 80 scenes, including a picture from 1944 to show viewers what each scene was based on.

The Longest Yarn are a non-profit Association and self-fund the exhibition – if you would like to make a donation to help with the costs, please click here.



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