Knit and natter for ladies at the Peoples Centre

The knitting group
The knitting group

A GROUP which was initiated for the purposes of knitting and nattering has been on the go for almost 40 years.

And after all that time there is still a 25-strong gathering of sewing and dress-making enthusiasts who turn up each week to put their best needle forward.

The needle-work group gets together every Thursday from 10am until 3pm at The Peoples Centre, in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

The members are mostly women but they have welcomed a number of men over the years.

And they age from its youngest supporter who is 67-years-old to its eldest aged 86.

One of its members, Joan Bilton, 80, said it was always on the look-out for more members regardless of age or sex.

The grandmother-of-10 and great-grandmother-of-six said: “I started off here as a tutor about 27 years ago and I’ve been coming ever since.

“I used to be a dress-maker and worked at John Colliers the tailor. I retired when I was about 52-years-old and I was getting on my husband’s nerves. He said that I’d better go and find myself something to do! Somebody told me about the group so I came down and that was that.

“I used to help women with dress-making, sewing and cutting.

“It’s just a lovely, friendly group. We’ve had lots of women come and go over the years and a few men. We also had a man with Downs Syndrome who made himself a lovely satin waistcoat.”

Members turn up at the group with their own materials and pay a pound subscription.

They can stay for the whole session, or for just an hour or two if they would prefer.

Once there the stitchers practice tapestry, sewing, embroidery, knitting and cross-stitch, and enjoy a natter and a brew. Some even take along a packed lunch.

Another member Kathleen Borrett, 81, said: “It’s a lovely way to make friends and socialise. We sit and sew and have a cuppa – we couldn’t do without it.” For further details telephone (01429) 861144.