208 - The Wool Shop

Picture The Wool Shop was a part of Church Road for over 45 years. In the early days it was Mrs Bridgwater's 'wool repository'; by the early 1950s Mrs Lloyd was the shopkeeper while in the 1960s and 70s it was run by Mrs Hodge. At a time when knitting was extremely popular, the Wool Shop sold balls of wool, knitting needles, knitting patterns and miscellaneous items relating to knitting. It closed down in 1994 and at the time of writing it is a residential dwelling.

Joy Searle recalls: "Mum was very creative, crocheting and knitting cardigans and matinee coats for new babies as most Mums did. We would walk up Foxcroft Road and enjoy a walk across the Park, through the Park gates and cross Church Road to a little wool shop opposite St George School. The shop was a small dark but cosy place, full of stock, threads, wool, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fasteners of all description, lace, ribbons and patterns. Mum would browse the patterns and pick out her wool, which was sold I think in ounce balls or skeins. The skeins needed to be wound into balls so Mum would get us to stand with our arms outstretched, thumbs pointing up with the wool strands lying across our fingers as Mum wound the wool into a ball. It's probably the same for knitters now but I've never mastered knitting myself! Customers would choose their wool, pay for a few balls and have the others put back to pay for another day. Mum always bought in one go as she knitted quickly and could produce a school cardigan for us in a couple of days."

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