South Yorkshire artist calls for Elsecar residents to help put village on map

11 April 2018

A South Yorkshire artist is calling on residents of Elsecar to fly the flag for their village when the Tour de Yorkshire passes through Barnsley next month.  

Gemma Nemer is encouraging villagers to make bunting and banners and turn the streets, buildings and roadsides into a mass of blue and yellow to welcome riders on Friday 4 May.

The acclaimed textile artist, who runs The Button Tin project, is working with the Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar team to host a series of free workshops where people can create banners, flags, bunting, pom-poms, tassels, streamers, swags and bows.

The aim is to help Elsecar win ‘Best Dressed Village’, taking inspiration from its history of welcoming important visitors. Old photos from 100 years ago show its streets adorned with bunting, flags and banners to welcome VIPs including royalty.

Three crafting workshops have taken place so far, and the rest will be held at Elsecar Heritage Centre on Thursday 12 April, 5.30pm-8.30pm; Thursday 19 April, 10am-3pm; and Saturday 21 April, 10am-4pm.

Gemma said: “This is an exciting opportunity that will bring creativity, pride and colour to Elsecar and its surrounding villages.  We warmly invite all communities and all ages to come along and help us hand craft traditional decorations to adorn the route. This really is a unique, collective and creative process for all to enjoy as we celebrate our vibrant heritage and our Yorkshire home.

“The response to our workshops so far has been terrific. It really does feel like the village has pulled together, like when they all rallied around years ago. I personally have thoroughly enjoyed learning and hearing the stories of Elsecar’s heritage at such an exciting time for the area.”

Gemma is delivering the workshops in partnership with Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar, a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. Launched in November 2017, the partnership aims to use arts and culture to engage people in the heritage of Wentworth and Elsecar and develop both areas as destinations.

Dominic Somers of Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar, said: “Elsecar is a really special place, with a genuinely unique and fascinating heritage, and winning ‘Best Dressed Village’ would be a brilliant way of showcasing its charm. Even if people can’t get along to a workshop, they can still make or buy decorations and do their bit to turn the village blue and yellow in celebration of the Tour coming to our beautiful corner of Yorkshire.

“We’d also love to see as many villagers as possible out lining the route on 4 May, celebrating our heritage by recreating the royal welcomes of years gone by.”

A Facebook group dedicated to Elsecar’s quest to be the ‘Best Dressed Village’ for Tour de Yorkshire 2018 can be found by searching online.

All workshop sessions are free and open to everyone. For more information contact

Notes to editors

Attached image shows Gemma Nemer, (credit Anna Kozak photography)

Gemma and Dominic are available for interview.

Media contact: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media on 01226 766900 or at

The Great Place project is a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, that will deliver a range of exciting activities inspired by the awe-inspiring Wentworth Woodhouse and the Earl Fitzwilliam’s incredible model industrial village at Elsecar. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE).

About Elsecar

A bustling industrial village from the 1700s, Elsecar boomed thanks to its ironworks and thriving collieries, which were often visited by aristocrats and royalty.

For 150 years it was the industrial estate village of Wentworth Woodhouse just a mile away and was developed by the Marquis of Rockingham and Earls Fitzwilliam into a model village.

The Elsecar Heritage Action Zone project is working closely alongside the Great Place project at Elsecar to research and promote the heritage of the village and surrounding area. Elsecar was named a Heritage Action Zone by Historic England in March 2017 - one of only ten places in the country to gain the special new status.

About Wentworth Woodhouse

Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house, based in the village of Wentworth, Rotherham. One of the largest houses in Europe, it was once the home of the Fitzwilliam family. In 2017, it was bought by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, who are working to renovate the building and restore it to its former glory.

About Gemma Nemer and The Button Tin Project

Gemma Nemer leads ‘The Button Tin’, an artist-led community arts project using traditional heritage textile arts as engagement. The project works across Rotherham, Barnsley and surrounding boroughs, and nationally through workshop delivery and art works. Visit or find #thebuttontin on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit

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