A glimpse into bygone matt-ers

Horden Heritage Centre held an open day for members of the public to get a glimpse into the village's past. Pictured are Alfie Williamson (left) and Toni Hunter from Cotsford Junior School, who were doing traditional crafts with Wendy Rowell from Durham Clayport Matters.

Horden Heritage Centre held an open day for members of the public to get a glimpse into the village's past. Pictured are Alfie Williamson (left) and Toni Hunter from Cotsford Junior School, who were doing traditional crafts with Wendy Rowell from Durham Clayport Matters.

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SCHOOLCHILDREN were transported back to yesteryear when a history centre held an open day.

Pupils from Cotsford Junior School, in Horden, went along to Horden Heritage Centre, in the village’s Welfare Park, where they learned about the art of clippy mat-making.

They were helped by members of Durham Clayport Matters Group to create their own mats, which were a common feature in working class homes in the early part of the 20th Century and were made out of rags and other pieces of fabric to provide warmth before carpets became more widely available.

There was also a chance for the youngsters, and other visitors, to learn about the Second World War when village resident Lee Hall, who used to be in the Territorial Army, took along memorabilia including uniforms and weapons, and a baby’s gas mask.

The centre’s secretary Jane Bentham and secretary Sandra Murray also got into the nostalgic spirit by dressing up in 1940s fashion.

Jane said: “The children loved it. They got to take their samples home, they were really keen.”

She added that the day was the last main event at the centre before it closes for the winter. It will close from November 20 and re-open on February 26 next year.