Worstead's weavers lose their home

WORSTEAD'S famous weavers are homeless this week after an emergency forced them to pack up their looms and quit their village base.Members of The Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinner and Dyers have issued an urgent SOS for a temporary home while their weavers' loft at Worstead's historic Meeting Hill Baptist Church is treated for a serious woodworm infestation.

WORSTEAD'S famous weavers are homeless this week after an emergency forced them to pack up their looms and quit their village base.

Members of The Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinner and Dyers have issued an urgent SOS for a temporary home while their weavers' loft at Worstead's historic Meeting Hill Baptist Church is treated for a serious woodworm infestation.

Guild chairman Brian Morgan is keen not to lose long-term links with the village.

The disruption will also mean that the adjoining Golden Fleece Heritage Museum, where Mr Morgan is curator, will not re-open at Easter, as planned. It celebrates the area's textile production as well as the history of the chapel and historic Meeting Hill Baptist enclave.


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Guild members spent Saturday afternoon dismantling six large looms, and carting off spinning wheels and other weaving paraphernalia to store in their homes until they can find somewhere else to meet.

Their in-house 2009 programme of talks, demonstrations and workshops planned for some 30-plus adult and junior members in the weavers' loft is at risk unless alternative premises can be found.

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Mr Morgan appealed for anyone to get in touch who could offer premises at least 6m x 15m large, with an electricity supply, or who could offer storage for the guild's equipment. Members meet on Tuesday evenings and every other Saturday afternoon. He can be contacted on 01692 406725.

�For more information about the guild, visit: www.northnorfolk.org/worsteadguild

�Services at the Baptist Church are not affected.

WORSTEAD'S weaving tradition began when Flemish weavers settled around Norwich after the Norman Conquest and Worstead later became one of the wealthy 'towns' of Norfolk.

The earliest Act of Parliament in the House of Lords, dating from 1497, concerns the 'taking of apprentices for the manufacture of worsteads in the county of Norfolk.'

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