Thursday, 19 September 2013

Heritage weekend

We took advantage of the Heritage Open Days at the weekend, although we weren't as ambitious last year when we did a grand tour of Coventry's Priory, Guild Hall, Blue Coats School and the old Cathedral. This year, we reined ourselves in, partially out of consideration for M's interest levels and secondly because of the weather, which was cold, cold, cold.

After some thought, we decided to keep it local this year and by that I mean a twenty minute walk to The Weavers House.

I've been aware of this building for a few years, but have never actually visited it. The Weavers Workshop, who are based at The Weavers House, were at The Herbert's craft fair last December, which is where Dave picked up my peg loom. It was a flying visit for us as I was feeling rough and M was poorly too, so I only chatted to them briefly at the time but they seemed friendly enough.

In short, we had an enjoyable hour and half in The Weavers House, which comprises a terrace of houses which were originally built in the 1500s and have been continuously updated since then. I believe they were occupied until the 1940s, indeed the gentleman working the front door said there used to be pub opposite which exploded due to WW2 bombing, but the terrace was left mostly unscathed.

The terrace had the feel of a work in progress, with one house restored to represent how a working class weaver might have lived in the 1500s, with a few additions for modern convenience (such as glass in the windows, a chimney breast and a tiled floor). Sadly, I didn't get to see past the hall (main living room) as M wasn't too keen on the dark, gloomy room or listening to the tour guide's (very interesting) talk. Dave stayed though and reported back that he had enjoyed it immensely.

We didn't pay too much attention to the garden, but M and I were drawn to the weavers themselves who had set up under a shelter. M played with the stick weaving samples and I had a long chat with one of the weavers about using a peg loom, getting a few tips about choice of warp as well as a few ideas in terms of projects. M was very taken with a giraffe woven onto a wire warp and a woven doll, both made with weaving sticks. I meanwhile was very intrigued by the idea of circular weaving on a normal peg loom.

I didn't get a chance to talk to lady who was spinning next to the hearth in the main reception room, but her presence, along with the whole visit has made an impression on M who has talked about it a lot since the weekend. The lady at the wheel was the only one in costume, which as someone with an interest in costume I found a bit disappointing but that's just me, I like costume. M does too apparently and was particularly taken by her hat (bonnet or cap) which M thinks was very pretty.

M came away with a few colouring sheets that she has put on her easel and has been working on for the past couple of days. Meanwhile, I picked up another set of weaving sticks and a small weaving disk. Following on from the inspiration of our visit and M's enthusiasm, we've started another braid, finished the piece on the peg loom (I'll post about that later) and started a project on the weaving sticks.
Weaving on two sticks
I really can't fault the place or the people there who were all very friendly and I certainly hope to visit again. 

Sunday the weather took a turn for the worse, adding a cold wind and rain to the mix. We had already decided to visit the Walled Garden in Allesley Park just as we did last year, but gosh it was cold.

The cold and rain kept a lot of the traders at their market away and forced the organisers to close early, but we made the best of it. M taught us how to play Hoopla, we did a bug hunt, I bought some veg grown on the site and M ran around a lot. We huddled in a tent for while, enjoying a very welcome pancake (and coffee for us adults) before heading briefly to the playground for a swing before coming home, but by then the drizzle had turned into heavy, cold rain, so we called it a day. Rain and cold weather however did not stop us from having fun, M certainly had a whale of a time.

And that was our Heritage Weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment