Love bird ukulele gig bags by Ivy Arch

Bird print ukulele gig bags by Ivy Arch
Hot on the heels of the weekend's RSPB annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey* comes a new range of Ivy Arch bird print ukulele gig bags.
     I've used my Flea gig bag pattern for these soft cases as this gig bag shape is also popular with owners of a standard soprano ukulele (these bags fit both type of uke). I channel quilted the front panels in straight lines to contrast with the oval body shape.

Ivy Arch bird print uke gig bags - detail

The bird print fabrics are all from Ikea and I especially love their delightful new pale blue Evalotta material (designed by Malin Ã…kerblom) with its bright orange, red, pink and green exotic birds. 
    All four quilted uke gig bags are available to buy now from my Etsy shop.

* In the hour we spent observing Birdwatch we spotted a song thrush, a jay, a blue tit, two blackbirds, 10 carrion crows and 11 seagulls - most common in these parts.

Worthing's Pigeon War Memorial

Worthing's Warrior Birds Memorial
The centrepiece of the formal flowerbeds in Worthing's Beach House Park is a memorial to the unsung heroes of the Second World War – the Warrior Birds of our National Pigeon Service. These brave carrier birds conveyed messages and made contact with allied agents throughout Europe during WWII. Most RAF bombers carried two pigeons and in an emergency the birds would fly home so that teams of rescuers could be alerted. Thousands of lives were saved by these tenacious creatures who often flew in extremely harsh skies. Secret armies of pigeons were regularly dropped behind enemy lines and used to relay messages from resistance members to 'Wing House' in London.

Pigeon war memorial engraved stone
This unique memorial was commissioned and funded by theatre director, author, conservationist and celebrated actor Nancy Price in 1949 and opened to the public in 1951. Founder of The People's National Theatre, Price was a star of stage and screen and I was thrilled to discover that she played the role of 'Mrs Crozier' in Powell and Pressburger's 1945 masterpiece I Know Where I'm Going!. There are many local stories about Nancy Price and Valerie Martin is collecting them on her wonderful Findon Village website.
Nancy Price plays banjo
The Warrior Birds monument is a lovely peaceful place to visit and after years of neglect is now tended by Adur and Worthing Council. Unfortunately the rockery is gated and kept locked – perhaps unnecessarily as the park has a warden and is also closed from dusk until dawn. For the past two years a memorial service for the wartime carrier birds has been held in the Beach House Park in November. I hope this is a tradition that will continue and that the birds are remembered for many years to come.
Beach House Gardens Bird War Memorial

If the plight of wartime pigeons has piqued your interest I recommend watching Richard Cane's documentary War Of The Birds - streamed here.

Happy New Year!

Worthing New Year's Day 2013
As the last of our festive visitors head home after the Christmas break, I've reopened my Etsy online shop. But before I rearrange the furniture and set up my sewing machine again, we're taking a New Year's Day walk along the beach in search of blue skies.
Worthing seaside, beach huts and pier 2013
Sunny Worthing
Wishing you all a very happy 2013 filled with fresh air, friendship and new adventures! 

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