CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Winchcombe celebrates its heritage of wonderful wool

PUBLISHED: 02:18 22 June 2012 | UPDATED: 10:36 21 February 2013

Winchcombe celebrates its heritage of wonderful wool

Winchcombe celebrates its heritage of wonderful wool

Winchcombe's prosperity was built on the wool trade so it seems fitting that the town should celebrate all things sheepish. Candia McKormack talks to the woman behind this month's wonderful Wool in Winchcombe events. Find out more here...

Then theres Cressida Pryor of

Happenstance Border Morris who is

getting a group together calling

themselves Shepherds Crook and

theyll be performing songs in St Peters

Church during the Big Knit. My

mission, she smiles, is to fill the

church full of knitters on the Saturday

afternoon [April 21]. Im determined

that the church will be full of knitters

clicking away while Cressida and the

others perform their music.

The timing, of course, is perfect.

With the resurgence in all things craftbased,

with TV shows such as Super

Scrimpers and Kirsties Homemade

Home, and guerrilla knitting and yarnstorming

hitting our streets, people

have a renewed interest in making,

mending and creating afresh.

Id been thinking about doing

something like this for a while and then

I just thought nows the time, says

Jane in her infectiously enthusiastic

way. As the economy isnt in a great

way, I thought it would be

entertaining, and everyone would be

able to join in in some way. As soon as

I put it out there, people started

coming forward the church, the

schools and theres one fantastic

group run by Margaret Basu who have

been going for 32 years. They meet up

in each others houses on a regular basis

to knit squares for charity and stitch

them together to make blankets.

Theyre completely wonderful!

Then theres Cressida Pryor of Happenstance Border Morris who is getting a group together calling themselves Shepherds Crook and theyll be performing songs in St PetersChurch during the Big Knit. My mission, she smiles, is to fill the church full of knitters on the Saturday afternoon [April 21]. Im determined that the church will be full of knitters clicking away while Cressida and theothers perform their music.The timing, of course, is perfect. With the resurgence in all things craft based,with TV shows such as Super Scrimpers and Kirsties Home made Home, and guerrilla knitting and yarnstorming hitting our streets, people have a renewed interest in making, mending and creating a fresh.Id been thinking about doing something like this for a while and then I just thought nows the time, says Jane in her infectiously enthusiastic way.

As the economy isnt in a great way, I thought it would be entertaining, and everyone would be able to join in in some way. As soon as I put it out there, people started coming forward the church, the schools and theres one fantastic group run by Margaret Basu who have been going for 32 years. They meet up in each others houses on a regular basis to knit squares for charity and stitch them together to make blankets.



"Theyre completely wonderful!

It matters enormously to Jane that

the wool and woollen products that

shell have on display in her gallery are

British. She knows realistically that the

cost implications mean that many

people cant afford to buy home-grown

wool, but its a great investment in

both terms of quality and in supporting

our native breeds and industry.

Both WoolSoft and Coln Valley

Cushions, who are exhibiting, use

British wool for their products, and

Felt Special create loom-woven rugs in

natural fleece from rare breed sheep,

she confirms.

And, as with all good ideas, it would

seem that the event has really sparked

the imagination of the community.

Initially I asked if people could just

donate their old wool the odd end of

roll, that kind of thing and then

people started to offer so much more.

The Sue Ryder shop next door is

getting involved by doing a lovely

display in their window of knitted

products, and Bob Fryer, whos the

husband of the manager and who takes

photographs of the Cotswolds, is going

to take a picture of a Cotswold Lion

sheep, get it blown up and put it in the

window.

The children at the school are

hopefully going to have a go at knitting

bunting, and the Coln Valley Cushion

ladies are going to be knitting teacosies.

So, everybodys taking part in

some way.

And, as a nod towards the 8,000

sheep that used to be kept by the

monks at Winchcombe Abbey, Jane is

welcoming a living, breathing Cotswold

sheep into the courtyard at the back of

her gallery, courtesy of Robert Boodle

of the Rare Breeds Society.

I was thinking of having sheep

walking along the street, she laughs,

but decided that would probably be a

bit too disruptive!

It matters enormously to Jane that he wool and woollen products that shell have on display in her gallery are British. She knows realistically that the cost implications mean that many people cant afford to buy home-grown wool, but its a great investment in both terms of quality and in supporting our native breeds and industry.

Both Wool Soft and Coln Valley Cushions, who are exhibiting, use British wool for their products, and Felt Special create loom-woven rugs in natural fleece from rare breed sheep,she confirms. And, as with all good ideas, it would seem that the event has really sparked the imagination of the community. Initially I asked if people could just donate their old wool the odd end of roll, that kind of thing and then people started to offer so much more.The Sue Ryder shop next door is getting involved by doing a lovely display in their window of knitted products, and Bob Fryer, whos the husband of the manager and who takes photographs of the Cotswolds, is going to take a picture of a Cotswold Lion sheep, get it blown up and put it in the window.The children at the school are hopefully going to have a go at knitting bunting, and the Coln Valley Cushion ladies are going to be knitting teacosies. So, everybodys taking part in some way.And, as a nod towards the 8,000 sheep that used to be kept by the monks at Winchcombe Abbey, Jane is welcoming a living, breathing Cotswoldsheep into the courtyard at the back of her gallery, courtesy of Robert Boodle of the Rare Breeds Society.

I was thinking of having sheep walking along the street, she laughs, but decided that would probably be abit too disruptive!

Wool in Winchcombe runs from April

14 until May 5. Visit

www.windsofchangegallery.co.uk

for more information.

Other 2012 events

in Winchcombe:

May 18-20: Winchcombe Walkers

Festival, www.winchcombewelcomes

walkers.com

May 29-June 3: Winchcombe

Festival of Music and Arts: More than

40 events in 20 venues in and around

the town, www.winchcombe.co.uk/

festival

Woo l in Winchcombe

highlights:

Wool I Never: Saturday, April 14.

Knitting for beginners with Kelly

Morss at The Old Tea House on

Hailes Street, tel: 01242 604363

Workshop with Chipping Nortonbased

Fibreworks: April 18

The BIG Knit: Saturday, April 21.

Join other knitters in St Peters

Church the more the merrier!

Margaret Basu and her team of

knitters will be there, and there will

also be performances of village

songs and historical talks on wool

by Shepherds Crook

Winds of Change Gallery will be

showcasing an interiors exhibition

to include British Wool and natural

yarn products by Wool Soft, Coln

Valley and Rachel John, together

with sculpture, pottery and art,

inclwuding a life-size sheep

sculpture by Caroline Barnett

Extreme knitting demonstration by

contemporary textile artist Rachel

John. Rachel knits with giant

needles type her name into

YouTube to see her at work!

Needle-felting demonstration and

workshop with Gretel Parker on

April 14, followed by a workshop on

the 27 where each student will

make a sheep using Leicester wool.

The winner of the best-made sheep

will win a family ticket to Adam

Hensons Cotswold Farm Park

Demonstration by Jan McMillan

and the Postlip Spinners


Wool in Winchcombe runs from April 14 until May 5.



Wool in Winchcombe highlights:

Wool I Never: Saturday, April 14.Knitting for beginners with Kelly Morss at The Old Tea House on Hailes Street, tel: 01242 604363

Workshop with Chipping Norton based Fibreworks: April 18

The BIG Knit: Saturday, April 21. Join other knitters in St PetersChurch the more the merrier! Margaret Basu and her team of knitters will be there, and there will also be performances of village songs and historical talks on woolby Shepherds Crook

Winds of Change Gallery will be showcasing an interiors exhibition to include British Wool and naturaly arn products by Wool Soft, Coln Valley and Rachel John, together with sculpture, pottery and art, incluuding a life-size sheep sculpture by Caroline Barnett

Extreme knitting demonstration by contemporary textile artist Rachel John. Rachel knits with giant needles type her name into YouTube to see her at work!

Needle-felting demonstration and workshop with Gretel Parker on April 14, followed by a workshop on the 27 where each student will make a sheep using Leicester wool.The winner of the best-made sheep will win a family ticket to Adam Hensons Cotswold Farm Park

Demonstration by Jan McMillanand the Postlip Spinners




Wool in Winchcombe runs from April14 until May 5. Visitwww.windsofchangegallery.co.ukfor more information.





Other 2012 events in Winchcombe:

May 18-20:Winchcombe Walkers Festival, www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com

May 29-June 3:Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts: More than 40 events in 20 venues in and around the town, www.winchcombe.co.uk/festival



NO ONE could accuse Jane


Smoczynski of being woollyminded.

No one could accuse Jane Smoczynski of being woolly-minded.


From extreme knitting to a mass 'knit-in at Winchcombe church, she has been working hard for months organising a series of events that will bring together the community and encourage visitors from far a field to be immersed in all things wool.

From extreme knitting to a mass

knit-in at Winchcombe church, she

has been working hard for months

organising a series of events that will

bring together the community and

encourage visitors from far afield to be

immersed in all things wool.

As one of the Cotswolds wool towns,

Winchcombe has a rich heritage in the

trade, and merchants would travel from

miles around to buy and sell here. The

town has the fleece of the Cotswold

Lion to thank for her prosperity, so it

seems fitting that Jane, of the Winds of

Change Gallery on Winchcombes

High Street, should celebrate that

which made the town great.

Meeting over a coffee at Wesley

House, Jane gave me an insight into

what to expect at the events.

There are so many different aspects

to this, she says, theres the history

side which Jean Bray [Sudeley Castles

archivist] has been brilliant at helping

with. Shes been uncovering some

interesting facts, such as information

she gleaned from 1677 about the

women of Winchcombe knitting while

smoking their pipes of tobacco

Winchcombe is a quirky place!

As one of the Cotswolds wool towns, Winchcombe has a rich heritage in the trade, and merchants would travel from miles around to buy and sell here. The town has the fleece of the Cotswold Lion to thank for her prosperity, so it seems fitting that Jane, of the Winds of Change Gallery on Winchcombes High Street, should celebrate that which made the town great. Meeting over a coffee at Wesley House, Jane gave me an insight into what to expect at the events.There are so many different aspects to this, she says, theres the history side which Jean Bray [Sudeley Castlesarchivist] has been brilliant at helping with. Shes been uncovering some interesting facts, such as information she gleaned from 1677 about the women of Winchcombe knitting while smoking their pipes of tobaccoWinchcombe is a quirky place!

0 comments

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 12:33

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Mon, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search