Local History – October meeting

On the afternoon of Tuesday 17th October, twenty-two members of the Local History group boarded a coach and headed off to the Framework Knitters Museum, based in the village of Ruddington, just outside Nottingham.  What a very interesting afternoon.  The museum is a group of buildings based around a courtyard garden, but we started our visit with a visit to the old chapel where we enjoyed a brief talk and a film.  We learned that the whole village of Ruddington was involved with the ‘knitting’, originally based in the workers’ cottages but, as the machinery improved and became larger, then in the bigger buildings.  A family called Parker instigated many of the changes during the middle of the 19th century and also provided education in the chapel for the children of the workers (a very unusual practice for that time).  We were then split into three groups and explored the building housing the machines where stockings were knitted and invited to ‘have a go’ and then, crossing the courtyard, saw examples of the huge ‘framework’ machines.  We were also able to see the living conditions of the manager of the ‘factory’ which made us realise just how lucky we are to live in the 21st century.  It must have been a very hard life.  Our visit finished with a welcome cup of tea and biscuits before we boarded the coach back to Market Harborough.  A very enjoyable visit.  The group’s last meeting for 2017 will be held on Tuesday 21st November (2pm) in the Jubilee Hall at the Congregational Church where our speaker is from LOROS.  Jan Tilley.