Last night (Tuesday April 1) saw super stitcher Lynda Lewis from Billingshurst leave BBC2’s Great British Sewing Bee in fourth place.
After battling with three other contestants for a place in the final, the 58-year-old grandmother just missed out after undertaking a particularly difficult set of challenges on the show which is presented by Claudia Winkleman and judged by May Martin, from the Women’s Institute, and Savile Row’s Patrick Grant.
Lynda told the County Times: “Watching the semi final on TV last night brought all the feelings back and I remember feeling relieved when Claudia said that I was leaving.
“During filming I was still working full time so was very tired and also missing spending time with my grandchildren. My daughters were more disappointed than I was!
“Responses to the judge’s decision have completely taken me by surprise and I’ve been overwhelmed by all the wonderful messages I’ve received,” she continued. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support which has meant so much to me.
“I had an amazing time on the sewing bee and I’m looking forward to seeing what the girls got up to in the final.”
However, pupils at Billingshurst Primary School, where Lynda works, are now helping their Welsh-born sewing star to celebrate her success on the programme and enjoy her new celebrity status.
The school has watched each week with great pride as Lynda has become something of a national treasure, demonstrating her sewing skills, creativity and sense of fun.
One pupil from Year 6 said: “We knew Mrs Lewis could go far in the competition, it’s been brilliant to watch her on TV.”
Lynda, who suffers from nerve deafness and had to use an interpreter during her time on the show, has worked at the school since it became an amalgamated Primary School in 2011 as a learning support assistant, helping children with special needs.
She also runs a sign class and is regularly enlisted to help the children sign during school performances.
Recently Lynda set up an after-school knitting club, and it is proving very popular. The class enables the children to try their hand at creating garments from wool.
Helen Williamson, headteacher of Billingshurst Primary School commented: “Mrs Lewis has always been a star to us but it is fantastic to see her talent being celebrated at a national level. Her work with the children is both inspiring and unique, giving our pupils the opportunity to learn from one of Britain’s best home sewers.”
Billingshurst Primary School will be hosting ‘An Evening With Lynda Lewis’ sponsored by Kavanagh’s Budgens on Wednesday 30th April 2014, 7-9pm offering a unique opportunity to talk to Lynda about her experience on the programme or ask any technical sewing or knitting questions.
The evening is open to everyone and places can be booked by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07966 465569.
Tickets cost £4 and include a glass of wine, with all proceeds going towards the school’s fundraising efforts.