Knitty-gritty! Youngsters in Cilcain get the knack for knitting thanks to Women's Institute


Owen Evans

Youngsters have developed a love of knitting.

Pupils from Ysgol y Foel in Cilcain have learned the art of knitting thanks to members of Cilcain’s Women’s Institute going into the school to give lessons.

Gwen Hardman, from Cilcain WI, said they began providing lessons as part of a project – but the youngsters loved it so much a knitting club was set up.

She said: “The headteacher asked if WI members would go into class and teach the children how to knit as they were doing a project on the Second World War.

“‘Make do and Mend’ was a big thing in the Second World War .

“The whole thing’s been absolutely fantastic and there have been 13 or 14 children who started knitting and they have produced some wonderful items.”

Mrs Hardman said that, as part of the project, she took in pictures from the war and people involved in knitting for the war effort.

She said: “It has given them a chance to learn a new skill which they will carry forward.

“I have loved going in.”

Headteacher Emma O’Neil said: “The WI has been into school teaching knitting as part of a ‘Make do and Mend’ project for World War Two but it was so popular they now do it as a Friday lunchtime club.

“We’re very grateful to the WI for donating wool and needles.

“The making of bobble hats has really taken off.”

Mrs Hardman said that thanks to the work between the school and WI, the club has been able to get the youngsters involved in a history project they are working on.

As part of the 100 year celebrations of the WI, the club has secured grant funding to put together a history project of the area.

She said: “I wrote the funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund and we got a grant as well as a top up from the local AONB committee.

“We’ve commissioned a local blacksmith to make a frame to help create a history of Cilcain in the 20th century.

“It has doubled in size since the first half of the century.”

Mrs Hardman said there were a number of ways the children were helping to get involved with the project.

She said: “The children have done art work, and some will be included in the blacksmith’s frame as well.

”We are hoping to do interviews with older villagers, with the results being archived.”

A range of documents, photographs and other pieces of memorabilia have already been collected together by the group.

See full story in the Leader

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