Home » Uncategorized » The day the weaving stopped

The day the weaving stopped

Since my last blog a week ago, I have run 3 workshops, 2 with adults and one with both young people and adults. I was very pleased with the writing which came out of these workshops and will share some of it here and in future blogs.

A few weeks ago I interviewed Bernie Orme who worked as a weaver in Stour Vale Mill (the Museum building) for 46 years. He now demonstrates the Wilton Jacquard loom on a regular basis (both power looms run for a short time on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midday) and is hoping to do at least 4 years as a volunteer to complete his 50!


Of all the stories he told me, the one which stood out was how he felt on the day he walked into work and saw two or three hundred men walking towards him because they had been made redundant without warning. On Sunday I was in the Museum and saw flights from the carpets lying on the floor beneath his loom.


I wrote this:

The day the weaving stopped
for Bernie

There are flights on the floor,
remnants from a loom that filled the air
with noise and colour.

I had friends in this shed,
weavers who laboured in freezing cold
or stifling heat too hot to work.

I’ll take a broom and sweep
clean away the skill, the sweat,
the tears in grown men’s eyes.

© Heather Wastie
June 2013

On Thursday evenings 4.00-6.00 there’s a workshop for young people aged 13-18. Last Thursday we talked about Kidderminster as it was, how it is now and how we might like it to be in the future. We wrote this poem as a group, describing aspirations for our town in the year 2020.

Kidderminster 2020

Kidderminster seen
to be a little more green.
Places to chill
when you’ve got time to kill

Make me feel happy,
full of glee.
Wish there were a lot more
shops to see.

A place to buy clothes
I can afford
in shops that leave me
a little less bored.

Keep the old buildings.
Live music on the street.
Somewhere to eat
and tap your feet.

Lots of smiling faces
and lots of cool places.
Walking from the station,
providing inspiration!

Written by Lucy Locke, Ben Bennett, Mike Brooke, Zoe Fulloway, Pam Hayward, Rory Hayward, Karl Tuffy, Abigail Wareham & Heather Wastie
June 2013

with thanks to staff of Kidderminster & District Youth Trust for valuable support

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