As we celebrate the 37th birthday issue, I’ve very much enjoyed talking to Neville Bramwell. He’s now 90 years old and a little frail, but still strong. Joan’s ‘old hands’ will certainly remember him and the heady days of our craft. Since the business closed, there’s been no substitute for Bramwell’s Fine 4-ply. Fellow pioneer Mary Weaver suggested to Neville that if he could find a way to produce three ends of 2/30s as one strand of yarn on a 500 gram cone to fit a 44-inch chest, machine knitters were ready and waiting! At that time England couldn’t produce it, so the first cones came from Italy and the statistics are impressive. At the height of demand, we had 84 colours in Fine 4-ply alone. There were 24 cones in a carton, a 40-foot container held 800 cartons and, as fast as they could be filled, containers were shipped to places such as Canada and the USA, Russia and both Perth and Sydney in Australia. That’s an impressive number of 4-ply cones! Neville’s three children Tony, Peter and Alison continue to support him and with 8 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, it’s still pretty much a ‘family affair’. In a month or two, I’ll drive North to visit Neville and also see the mega hotel complex now built on the site of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe, Bramwell’s home for ten years.
Jean Richardson runs the Bromsgrove MKC and she’s sent me the sad news that Pat Stanton has passed away. Over more years than I can remember, Pat was a great ambassador for machine knitting. Jean had known her since the early 80s, when machine knitting was at its height. Pat had a vast knowledge of all things ‘machine knitting’ and willingly shared it. I know I’m not alone in remembering Pat from her numerous visits to knitting clubs around the country. She drove to some clubs during the day and, up to a few years ago, would think nothing of loading up her car and setting off to give one of her evening talks. Pat loved to visit the shows and, in the early days, enjoyed many busy days out. Two favourites were the Thornbury Show near Bristol and Nottingham.
Pat produced a series of booklets covering many aspects of machine knitting, along with organising Bromsgrove Machine Knitters. She brought her knowledge and experience to many demonstrations then, sadly, her health began to deteriorate. However, ‘her’ club continues and they’ve welcomed some new faces recently. The members will continue to talk about Pat and remember her lasting legacy to the club and our craft. She’ll be hugely missed and many will mourn her passing, as will I. Rest in peace, Pat.
Finally, my very sincere thanks to you all, for your lasting support over 37 years. It’s made it possible for me to continue to publish my magazine, for the craft I love. Until next month, knit happy!
NEXT ISSUE May 2023
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