Worstead's weavers on lookout for new home

MOVES are under way to welcome home Worstead's weavers after nearly a year's wandering.A steering committee is to hold its first meeting with the aim of finding a permanent base in the village for the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers which has been homeless since last spring.

MOVES are under way to welcome home Worstead's weavers after nearly a year's wandering.

A steering committee is to hold its first meeting with the aim of finding a permanent base in the village for the Worstead Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers which has been homeless since last spring.

And next month the guild will host a special event celebrating the village's historic links with the prosperous trade in wool and worsted cloth which is thought to have taken its name from the community where it was woven.

This week guild chairman Brian Morgan and his wife Pat visited the Norfolk People and Parliament exhibition at the Norfolk Record Office to see the oldest act of parliament kept at Westminster, dating from 1497: 'An Act for taking of Apprentices to make Worsteds in the County of Norfolk.'


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'This highlights how important the manufacture of worsted and wool was to the county. It just seems terribly appropriate that the document should be in Norfolk at this time,' said Mr Morgan.

He will be part of the steering group, meeting on February 22, which will also include representatives from the Worstead Festival committee, Worstead Parish Council, the Griffon Area Partnership and an historic buildings specialist.

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Mr Morgan said they would be exploring ideas with a view to applying for Heritage Lottery funding.

On March 26 villagers and anyone else with an interest in Worstead's history is invited to the village hall for a Built on Wool evening at 7.30pm which will include a talk on Wool and Worstead, by Peter Brice, spinning and weaving demonstrations, displays of finished work by guild members, performances by Worstead singers The Choir, and refreshments. Admission will be �1.50, accompanied under-16s free.

Founded in 1972, the guild's first home was in Worstead's medieval wool church. In 1996 it moved to another part of the village, the Baptist Chapel at Meeting Hill, where members also set up a Golden Fleece museum. But the guild was asked to leave last March and the museum was closed.

Since then guild members have moved to a number of temporary venues and currently meet in Dilham Village Hall on Tuesday evenings and at North Walsham's Sacred Heart Church Hall on alternate Saturdays.

�At a meeting of North Norfolk District Council's area museums committee on February 2, councillor Paul Rice suggested the old school house, in Potter Heigham, as a possible home for the guild.

The Victorian building closed as a centre for adults with special needs in October. Mr Morgan said he would be contacting Mr Rice to find out more.

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