Scottish artist follows in mother’s footsteps as he is made an MBE

An artist behind the mammoth Great Tapestry of Scotland has said he felt like he was following in his mother’s footsteps as, just like her, he was made an MBE.

Andrew Crummy has worked on a number of large-scale public projects, including designing a 143-metre (469ft) long tapestry which tells the history of Scotland, and has been made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to art and cultural heritage.

The 63-year-old, of East Lothian, said it was a “honour” to be given the rank and to have worked with people on the various projects he has been involved with.

“I was really surprised, I didn’t quite believe it. It took me quite a while to believe it, to be honest. It was a complete surprise to me,” said the artist on receiving news of the honour.

In 1976 his mother Helen Crummy was made an MBE for her work in the community arts in Edinburgh’s Craigmillar, and Mr Crummy said he remembered going to Buckingham Palace with her, his father and his brother to see the investiture.

Mr Crummy said his work now came out of what she did in the Scottish capital, and added: “I think she would be really proud of it because it’s carrying on her tradition of community arts projects.”

Her statue now stands pride of place outside Craigmillar’s library in honour of the work she did, which included founding The Craigmillar Festival Society.

The father-of-two, who was born in that area of the city, has designed a number of tapestries since 2009 including the Battle of Prestonpans, The Scottish Diaspora and the Declaration of Arbroath.

But none match the scale of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which is one of the world’s largest community arts projects and involved the work of more than 1,000 people.

Dubbed Scotland’s Bayeux Tapestry, it involved 55,000 sewing hours and 49,000 metres (160,761ft) of yarn.