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National Vegetarian Week at the Quaker Tapestry Centre in Kendal

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The keepers of the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal (a modern textile made by 4,000 men, women and children, aged from 4 to 90 and from 15 different countries) hope to dispel some of the mystery surrounding who Quakers are and what they do through National Vegetarian Week (23rd-29th May 2011).

As part of the week’s celebrations people will be able to learn how the Quakers are linked to chocolate (not oats), how an old fashioned approach to food has become fashionable again, try the Quaker recipe for preserving children, check out celebrity Quaker recipes and explore how a plateful of food represents so much in terms of health, economics, environment and human equality. All this as well as eating great vegetarian food.

Visitors to the centre will be able to enjoy the newly refurbished and renamed ‘meeting house café’, which offers an oasis of calm. On a sunny day, tables are set out in the courtyard of the grade 2* listed building from where the only noise to be heard are the town’s bells. Or you can borrow a picnic rug and laze on the lawn to enjoy both the Quaker inspired planting (early Quakers were great horticulturalists) and al fresco feasting!

In the main house, you can find:

- the Barrett counterpane – a nineteenth century hand embroidered coverlet started by Marianne Barrett in 1899 with connections to the Victorian Art World, William Morris and Queen Victoria herself. Stitch by stitch, thread by thread, the counterpane took shape over a period of ten years during which time 34 embroiderers, all of them women, made their own squares. The oldest embroiderer was aged 83 and the youngest was in her early teens.

- the Quaker Tapestry – made by 4,000 men, women and children, aged from 4 to 90 and from 15 different countries this amazing modern tapestry depicts a fascinating wealth of stories from the last 350 years.

- Full Steam Ahead: The Quakers and Railways – a captivating, interactive display, which tells of how Edward Pease, a Darlington Quaker and George Stephenson, an accomplished engineer, shared a vision and built a railway. Featuring a working model railway layout, this enchanting display will be of interest to young and old alike.

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