carried with us...

Sara Jane Murray of Home Front Vintage and Natalie Thakur, a talented artisan leather worker, first met whilst both exhibiting at the same event in Clerkenwell.

 

Early in 2016 they organised to meet again to talk about collaborating on some new products.  As they were talking about the escape and evade maps that Sara Jane uses in her work, Natalie pulled out of her bag a photo of her grandfather, William Ramsden, who had been a Lancaster Bomber pilot during WW2.  They realised that may people ‘carry’ stories of their relatives who lived through the 1940s and 1950s, around with them and it is only at chance meetings do they get to share these stories. 

 

The ‘carried with us’ project was born – a collaboration of beautiful bags made from leather and vintage military blankets, all lined with original silk maps.  Each bag to be a limited edition and named after someone who lived through WW2 or the post war period and to go t its new owner with the story of the person it is named after and a photograph – thus retelling the stories and sharing our past.

A social media campaign was launched and people from all over the world took part to share their stories and memories.  From these, 5 were chosen for the new range of bags:  Esme, Frankie, William, Peter, and Henry.

The response has been overwhelming. People have been so generous in sharing their stories of the people they knew and loved. Each of the stories we have chosen is very different but the common theme is what we can learn from these people and what their personal legacy to their families, and now a wider audience has been. Escape maps are not really about the places that they depict, but more about the idea of finding your way home to family and the things that are important. Through this collaboration we explore this idea of connection, the stories we ‘carry with us’ and the lessons we learn from the past.
— Sara Jane Murray
It was be great working together on this and I have loved working on a project that means so much and has such history. The fact that we have named one of the bags after my grandfather has meant so much to me and my family. His story is being shared which means he will never be forgotten.
— Natalie Thakur, www.natthakur.com

More of Natalie's work can be seen on her website at www.natthakur.com


You can read more about each of the people that the bags are named after by clicking on the photographs below.

William Ramsden

William Ramsden

Henry Qualtrough

Henry Qualtrough

Frankie Butler

Frankie Butler

Esme Thompson (second from left)

Esme Thompson (second from left)

Peter James

Peter James