I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a quilt in the New Zealand Rugby Museum, situated in Palmerston North today. Rugby is our national game and Robin had long wanted to visit the museum. I thought I would see plenty of rugby balls, jerseys, and all sorts of memorabilia – and I did. Hanging high up over a doorway was a small blue and white quilt. Made to commemorate the Auckland Blues 1996 Super 12 series, it lists the players names around the ribbon border. It contains photo transferred images, including those of newspaper headlines.
Who made it, I wondered. The staff member on duty did a quick computer search, and it seems that the quilt was made in England, by Eleanor Hunt. More than that, he could not tell me. So how it came to be made, and why it was given to the Rugby Museum, I do not know. Perhaps someone local will know the answers?
I was informed that the museum holds another quilt as well, a black and white rugby quilt, I understand. The museum is planning to move premises shortly and this quilt is packed away and not available to view.
Tucked away around the corner I discovered some beautifully stitched embroideries framed under glass. So back to the man on duty I went, to ask about these lovely items. These were touch flags, and two of each were made. They were used for the one game only, and one of each was presented back to New Zealand. The hand embroidery on these flags is exquisite.
So…….. although a trip to the Rugby Museum was mainly for Robin’s benefit, I was pleasantly surprised to find these textile beauties. When the museum changes premises, there will be room to exhibit rugby related textiles that are currently in storage, including that All Black quilt, I was told.