Sunderland seamstress reproduces historic St Cuthbert banner

The St Cuthbert banner on display.
The St Cuthbert banner on display.
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AN historical regional symbol that was destroyed during the Reformation in the 16th century has been reproduced by a Sunderland seamstress.

Embroiderer Ruth O’Leary spent more than 800 hours carefully crafting the banner of St Cuthbert.

The original was often carried into battle and was an emblem of the region’s heritage but it was burned during attempts to stamp out the strong Catholic identity in the area.

It has now been resurrected and the detailed replica was unveiled by Northumbria Association’s honorary president John Cuthbert (pictured).

Chris Kilkenny, the association’s historian, said: “The one thing that showed the identity of the North East was St Cuthbert. So they decided it had to be destroyed.

“I just decided one day that it was about time we had this banner back. It was a flash of light one day on the road to Chester-le-Street.”

Ruth, who created it from her Sunderland home, added: “It went well. I’m thrilled with it.”

Mr Cuthbert and his wife stumped up the cash for the banner.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely fabulous.”

St Cuthbert is the patron saint of Northumberland. The banner will be paraded in Durham on March 20, St Cuthbert’s Day.