A special garment on a nationwide pilgrimage drew the crowds in Thirsk Market Place on Easter Saturday.

The Coat of Hopes, originally made by Sussex artist Barbara Keal as she walked from her home to the 2021 Cop 26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, has acquired hundreds of knitted, woven and embroidered patches along its way.

These have been made by different groups and individuals who have met and worn the coat on its journeys, and express a love of the natural world as well as anxieties about climate change.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Coat of Hopes on display in Thirsk Market Place

Barabara brought the coat to Holy Rood House, Thirsk, on March 22, where it has stayed over Easter. It will later be moving on to Easingwold and later to York Minster. On her way she drew a crowd of fascinated children at Sowerby Recreation Ground, some of whom wanted to wear it.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Coat of Hopes in Thirsk

The coat’s appearance in Thirsk Market Place drew similar levels of interest from people of all ages on Saturday, as a group from Holy Rood stood near the greengrocer’s, inviting anyone who wished to put it on.

Barbara now acknowledges that the coat, whose destination was originally meant to be Glasgow, is on a pilgrimage that will continue “while the climate emergency lasts”.