At this time of the year, we often reflect on times past and look forward to a New Year with hope in our heart. This year, Carol and Mark Hocknell have reached such a crossroads in life. It’s taken a while, but they’ve signed the contract and Metropolitan has been sold. To be honest I’ve known for a while, but I didn’t want to put a spanner in the works by spilling the beans too soon. Carol has started to let people know, but when we chatted recently we agreed that someone was sure to be forgotten, so please spread the word.
It’s going to take a while to register that it’s all gone. Everyone who spent time in the shop found a bargain and, during Dream Week, we’d many laughs. Bill King and I often struggled to keep a straight face at some point in our lectures. Dream Week was usually held at the time of year when a new gentleman visitor was brought along to get ‘up close and personal’ with the two resident lady pigs. Sadly the girls were rather choosy, so he spent more time in hope than expectation. Their sty was just outside our building, so we all had to take their squeals and grunts in our stride! Alison’s cheery smile always welcomed us in the café and Carol was the first to admit that Kath managed to drag her ‘kicking and screaming’ into the 21st century. There are so many stories to tell that they’d fill several books, so smile awhile as you remember your own happy times in Nantwich.
Metropolitan has now moved to Leeds and the new owner is Helena Bondarcuka. She’s asked me to pass on that after a short period of transition, the new company will continue offering machine knitting courses and sell knitting machines, yarns and other merchandise. Everyone is having to make changes and we don’t seem quite sure how to meet with the world again. I’m sure she’ll let us know her plans in due course.
I’m also certain that Carol and Mark must have mixed feelings. On the one hand they’ll be delighted that Metropolitan is going forward into the future, but they must be equally sad that they’ve reached the end of an era. We all agree that our craft needs new young blood to take it forward, but I’m not sure how they managed to pack up everything and watch the lorry drive away. It must have been quite a challenge for them all. Over the years Carol and Mark have put an enormous amount of effort into flying the flag for machine knitting, so we say a huge ‘thank you’ for their immense contribution. I also send them my own best wishes and hopes for as smooth and as eased a transition of their circumstances as is possible. As one year draws to an end and another begins, I join all our contributors in wishing you a happy and peaceful New Year, filled with good health and good fortune for us all.
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