Tutor Helena has been working with students of the Garment-making class on special projects working with patchwork. People have been making bags, cushions and other pieces. The technique seems very complicated, but Helena is a very skilled tutor and has given everyone the confidence to try.


On 2nd October Drovers artists had a Private View and Poetry Evening to celebrate the opening of their Open Exhibition 2014, which is part of the borough-wide Islington Exhibits Programme. A wide range of work was exhibited, including textile art, photography, prints, drawing and painting.
A very enjoyable evening was had by all as represented in this quote by participating artist Geraldine Thomas: “ I felt very proud seeing my work in an exhibition. It was nice to meet the other artists on a social occasion – we were able to talk in a more relaxed way. The poetry made the evening more varied and interesting.”
photo1 Geraldine’s watercolour.

Our three fantastic poets Janette Innis, Margaret Newton and Rick Taylor all have links with Drovers and all read from poetry of their own which had been published.



We have just commenced an exciting project to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of the famous C18th artist William Hogarth and to celebrate his life and vibrant art. Our Drover’s printing class will be working on this special project in partnership with Islington Museum.
Tutor Mary McFerran did a fascinating presentation about his life and work, fresh from her role as a facilitator at the Tate Modern. She is encouraging our artists to create their own ‘Hogarthian’ scenarios!
In the process they will be try out experimental and varied techniques of fabric, paper and photographic printing, painting, resist techniques and incorporating sewing and embroidery in some cases.
Culminating in an exhibition in Islington Museum, St John St, October-November 2014.




Everyone looked happy to be heading off to the seaside this morning as 53 people left in the coach for Whitstable. Volunteers from Age UK Whitstable are meeting them and showing them around and also providing a delicious photo

whitstable3whitstable4cream tea.




This morning we were very lucky to have Ken Watts, a D-Day veteran, visiting our reminiscence group at Drovers, to talk about his memories of being a soldier at that time. Ken had experienced all the most traumatic things that you might imagine a soldier of that time facing. This included landing on a beach under full fire, seeing friends wounded and killed, being shot at by a tank, having a mortar explode so close that all his clothes were shredded, but he escaped with a hand wound. He had so many near-misses that we were calling him ‘Ken-of-nine-lives’ by the end of the session. We all found it fascinating and felt privileged that we were able to ask Ken very searching questions that he answered very honestly. We also enjoyed seeing Ken’s many medals including the 1939-45 star, the Normandy Campaign and the Defence Medal. Thank you Ken!

Ken Watt scan

hastings coach 14

We had a full coach this morning for our trip to Hastings in the gorgeous sunshine. Our next trip is to Whitstable Friday 5th September – book early to avoid disappointment! £18 including cream tea! 0207 607 7701 Drovers Centre, 19 North Road, N7 9EY.

At Drovers we had our June bring and share community lunch sitting outside in our verdant garden in the sunshine. We had a couple of dishes of our own produce including a huge salad composed of various salad leaves, herbs, spring onions and peas and a Mediterranean style dish of garlic, lemon and our own particularly delicious courgettes. People brought some lovely contributions including pigs-in-a-blanket (sausages wrapped in bacon), lots of fruit, fried plantain and a spectacular mango-cheesecake. Good eating and interesting chat followed. Wonderful!Photo1


On Wednesday 25th July Drovers Reminiscence Group had a fascinating outreach visit from The British Museum. They brought artefacts from their textile collection. Everyone enjoyed seeing and handling the objects, and discussing what they might have been used for and where they were from. Artefacts included a wedding robe from Yemen, barkcloth from Uganda, a beautiful tie-dyed throw from Nigeria, BM1







BM9(which had a wonderful bubbly texture) and a colourful headpiece from China, worn for celebrations. We were expertly led in this discussion by Emma Taylor from the museum and volunteers Eva and Ewa.

Drovers Photography and Reminiscence Groups have been working closely together on a lovely project which combines personal stories and memories with photographic skills. The photographers did several sessions taking black and white portraits of regular attendees of Reminiscence and also careful photographs of objects of personal significance which they had brought in. The stories which accompanied the objects were typed up and all put together into a fascination exhibition. The private view was well attended and lively, with participants telling their stories live and we also had the colourful addition of artwork from the ceramic, papier-mâché and print groups.MemoriesEx1






Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow… a dozen or so of us danced away a steamy Saturday, as our enthusiastic new ballroom dancing teacher, Ivania, encouraged us. Social foxtrot, followed by a spot of cha cha & even soca burned off the calories – while a lovely cream tea put them all back on again!
We’ll be doing more ballroom dancing classes & tea dances from September onwards.