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Unique Great War item comes to Turriff - for one day only

By David Porter

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Turriff Museum and Heritage Centre is set to host a special one-off display on Saturday when a unique piece of World War I related crafting will be on show.

A drop in session is being held from 10am - 4pm where a very valuable piece of Belgian War Lace will be on display.

Exhibitor Margaret Rennie who has acquired the loan of the item for one day only, is herself an experienced lace maker and will be running demonstrations as well as talking about the history of the artefact.

The piece in question was found in an antique shop in Ashbourne in Derbyshire and was made during the Great War.

Belgian lace makers had all their stock seized by the German army in 194 and were out of work and unable to support their families.

Aid was sent through the Commission for Relief for Belgium (CRB) which included thread and a committee was set up to make and sell lace to buy food and other aid.

A specific type of lace was made with motifs symbollising countries such as a bear for Russia, cockerel for France and lion and unicorn for Great Britain.

The exhibit which will be on show is a 57cm by 57cm creation that shows the coat of arms of the nine Belgian provinces and the countries supporting the CRB.

This history of how it ended up in an antique shop is unknown, but it will in time be returned to its homeland.

Belgian War lace is of such cultural significance to the war that an identical piece, with the exception of the border edging is held in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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