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Hidden Lives

Leek's Extraordinary Embroiderers

Written and published by Cathryn Walton

A book review by LEEKONLINE

This person centred book is based on the lives of Victorian women who stitched for the famous Leek Embroidery Society. It details information about the lives of wives and daughters of both manufacturers, who were members of the society, and the young women employed by Mrs Wardle. The stories form a connection to each other as they inter-weave, outlining their lives and relationships. Hidden Lives is also , a pictorial and historical book, with many photographs of Leek and the surrounding area, embroideries, including a facsimile of the Bayeux Tapestry. The interesting life histories of ladies such as Alice and Florence Pattison and the Sutton sisters reveals itself amongst the photographs of old Leek.

If you are interested in Leek in Staffordshire, you will love this book, with details about local women, family and embroidery history. If you wish to purchase it at a reduced price, you can order direct from the author and publisher Cathryn Walton on with free delivery if you are within the Staffordshire Moorlands area and £2.50 if you live further afield, email for a quote if you are outside the UK. Hidden Lives can also be purchased from ‘Picture Book' and ‘Chapter 1' at the normal retail price of £19.95, this book is a ‘must read' for anybody interested in our local history!


Hidden Lives, packed with hundreds of photographs, covers aspects of Leek from Victorian days and reveals the lives of women who stitched for the famous Leek Embroidery Society. Silk manufacturers, solicitors and surgeons feature throughout, together with numerous tradesmen, shopkeepers and clergymen.

Leek people, streets, houses, mills and shops vie for attention on every page.

Hidden Lives is a treasure chest of family and local history and sheds light on to the previously unknown women who stitched exquisite embroidery




An experienced genealogist and local historian is now available to answer your questions. Specialist knowledge of Leek and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
For further details email


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