National Needlework Archive

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The Old Chapel Textile Centre in Newbury, home of the National Needlework Archive, offer courses, workshops and exhibitions in sewing, haberdashery,  needlecraft, textiles, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting and textile art. Our shop carries an extensive range of all needlework and sewing products including fabric, threads, wool, zips and patterns. We have an archive of historic textiles and patterns and are home to The Country Wife mural.

Toc H Banners

Toc H was founded by a British army chaplain during the First World War to provide support for soldiers at a rest centre in Poperinge, Belgium.

After the war the idea of providing support and encouragement to individuals and communities was brought back to Britain and the organisation grew to have branches in countries all over the world.

At one time most of these branches had a Toc H banner and the banners that have survived in the possession of Toc H’s headquarters in Buckinghamshire have now been passed to the National Needlework Archive.

It is hoped that with the help of Toc H members and friends, a history of these banners and other Toc H textiles can be compiled.

If anyone has information about textiles in Toc H branches we would be very pleased to hear from them.

Martock Toc H Banner

This banner was designed and made by Mr. Joe Wintle, probably soon after the founding of the Martock branch in 1941. When the branch closed in 1984 the banner was given to the local church where it hung for some years. However, it eventually disappeared. Despite searches and calls for information in the local community and newspapers, the banner was not found and was eventually was given up as lost.

Happily, more than ten years later, the banner turned up at the bottom of a drawer in the church vestry, under some vestments. The delighted daughter of Mr.Wintle, and the Parish Council, have now donated the banner to the Toc H Banner collection at the NNA.

To celebrate 100 years of being a charity in this country the NNA has conserved over twenty of our extensive collection of Toc H banners so that they can go on tour with the TOC H organisation celebratory events.  We will also be having these banners on show at the Creative Craft Show at the NEC Birmingham in March 2022