Spinning a Yarn in Worstead

The Project

The Spinning a Yarn in Worstead project came about as a result of discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund to apply for funding for a permanent site in Worstead.  We were awarded a smaller Community Fund grant to promote the guild’s activities and pave the way towards the bigger project.

Our project will provide an opportunity for the Guild to celebrate its 40th Anniversary (2012) since it was established in its present form at the annual Worstead Festival. Celebrating the heritage of the village and its association with weaving, spinning and dyeing, the project sets out to promote a range of activities and events in a strategic manner, targeted at a regional level promoting the craft and its heritage. In this way both the heritage of the village and the heritage skills of the Guild can be celebrated and their interrelationship underlined. The project will provide opportunities for the general public to participate and learn the basic skills and for existing weavers to expand their own skills with specialist training courses, as well as a targeted programme of curriculum based events and learning with local schools. It will use the project officer role to develop links with and potential partnerships for promoting the heritage of the woollen textile tradition within the county (and beyond) and in particular the significance of the part played by the village of Worstead. The research carried out by the project is to be made available both in print and through the Internet as well as Heritage trail and public information board to be sited permanently in the village.

Project Detail
The project has received £44,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to deliver the following items;

  •  6 free taster day events (2 x weaving, spinning, dyeing) minimum 12 per session.
  • 3 free masterclass sessions (approx 5 days) per skill with maximum 8 participants per session.
  • Deliver and /or attend 5 events under the project banner over the next 12 months.
  • Organise a programme of events for schools, with education packs and visit 3 schools.
  • Pay for Staff, who will be responsible for delivering the project (Project Manager and 2 Project Officers)
  • Research and transcribe the history of the craft with an emphasis on Worstead and the surrounding area.
  • Produce an interpretation board and leaflet identifying a heritage trail and unveil them at the annual Worstead Festival 2012 in celebration of the 40th anniversary.
  • Produce a portable exhibition to accompany craft demonstrations.
  • Deliver minimum of 5 guided walks during the Worstead Festival 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations.
  • Provide training for staff and volunteer Guild members on working with schools and disadvantaged groups where required.
  • Evaluate the project and produce a report to the HLF at completion of the project.

What does it mean for the Guild and its members?
For the Guild it is an opportunity to enhance its reputation locally as well as further afield through publicity, a world-wide-web presence and direct activities funded by the project over the coming year. It is an opportunity for members to enhance their skills, learn new ones and teach others, thus increasing awareness and knowledge of these important traditional craft skills. Members will also benefit from a dedicated website which offers opportunities to showcase their work to a wider audience, forge new links with other guilds and related crafts and traditions, and be kept aware of the latest developments and other activities of interest.

The Project Team

Stefan Ganther     Project Manager

Stefan has been working with the Guild Chairman since 2009 assisting in the search for a permanent home for the Guild. He is a Historic Environment Specialist and is a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and The Chartered Society of Designers (MCSD). As an Interior Designer he has been involved in a number of award-winning projects including a Civic Trust and Sunday Times Building of the Year award. Living in North Norfolk, Stefan provides heritage consultancy services and was instrumental in the development of the project funding application.

Aviva Leigh     Project Officer

Aviva comes to the project having recently graduated from Norwich University College of the Arts with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Textiles. She holds a teaching qualification with many years’ teaching experience and has recently worked as a volunteer at the Carrow House Costume and Textile Archive, helping to deliver workshops. She specialises in constructed textiles and uses weave, felt making and natural dyeing to create contemporary textiles. She is interested in slow, sustainable design and the provenance of materials, researching the rich textile heritage of Norfolk and using locally produced fibre and colour in her work.