• Lesley Leonard

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With over 20 years experience in Traditional and Modern Upholstery – attending evening classes and a City & Guilds course in the 1990s Lesley went on to gain formal qualifications through Bishop Burton College, nr Beverley.  She obtained City & Guilds qualifications in Upholstery, Buttoning and Design, graduating with an HNC with 16 out of 17 Distinctions and Student of the Year.

Lesley demonstrating her skills

With a Teaching Qualification and a chance suggestion from her Tutor, Lesley started to run her own private lessons.  As another Tutor was due to retire Lesley was approached by the Lincolnshire County Council to run more courses and workshops  – and that is when the teaching started in earnest.  She has been teaching Upholstery since 2003.  As a member of the Institute for Learning Lesley keeps her teaching and Upholstery skills up to date.

Lesley is enthusiastic about her Upholstery and is delighted to pass her skills onto her learners.  As well as informative the classes are enjoyable – learning is fun and Lesley ensures everyone is part of the class.  She finds it very rewarding to see her learners create stunning pieces of work. There are learners who have met up on Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia on holiday – having never met before they came to the class!   Lesley organises a fabric sale and a Christmas meal for all of the classes each year.

During the last 20 years it is amazing how many rescued chairs, stools, headboards, boxes and sofas have been brought back to life. To see the potential in old pieces of furniture is a fantastic achievement – one less for the skip.  Many pieces of furniture have actually been taken out of skips, sheds and even a greenhouse and given a new lease of life.  Recycle – Brilliant… Upcycle – Amazing!!

Chair found in a skip and repaired by student

Lesley supports St Barnabas Hospice by assisting at the craft stall at fundraising events  and donates her Memo/Notice Boards for sale.  Also members of her classes donate fabrics and suitable materials to the Hospice for sale and use in making craft items. The Disability Lincs Group events are enjoyed and supported by the Upholstery classes in Wragby.  As much as possible is not wasted –  even the stamps from the envelopes are sent to The Bransby Home of Rest for Horses.



Lesley has exhibited her work at many events over the years:-

  • Tathwell Art Exhibition  2009 – 2012
  • Caistor Art and Craft Festival 2011 – 2012
  • Boston Learners Week 2005
  • The Invitation 2009
  • ArtinVision 2010 – 2011
  • Hemingby Art and Craft 2009 – 2012
  • Made in Hemingby 2011
  • Woodhall Spa Library 2007
  • Horncastle College 2006 – 2011
  • Lincolnshire Open Churches Middle Rasen & Wragby 2010
  • Wragby Town Hall Fayre 2011
  • Womens Institute 2010 – 2012
  • Louth Farmers Wives Club 2011 1000 years Traditional Crafts in Lincoln Castle

Articles Published

Upholstery Lincolnshire

  • The Journal 2012
  • Lincolnshire Life 2009 – 2010
  • Period Ideas 2009 -2010
  • Horncastle News
  • Market Rasen Mail

Lesley is a member of the following organisations:-

  • The Country Crafts Association
  • Institute for Learning
  • Federation of Small Businesses

Lesley also runs Courses and Workshops for :-

  • CG Partnership in Market Rasen and Mablethorpe
  • WEA in  Louth