4th November 2017
A poppy cloak for Brunel
Swindon Stitch and Bitch – a Swindon based knitting group, have been busy knitting and crocheting poppies to raise funds and awareness for The Royal British Legion.
Last year they made a six-foot poppy man to sit on a bench in Royal Wootton Basset.
This year they have made a poppy cloak for the town centre statue of Brunel to wear.
The problem hasn’t been the making of the poppies or the cloak, the challenge has been how are they going to get the cloak on Mr Brunel? He himself is six-foot-tall and he’s standing on an eight-foot column. The group had wanted to sneakily put the cloak on Brunel themselves early one morning anonymously, but the height of the statue defeated them and they have had to do it with the collaboration of InSwindon.
Due to health and safety, ladders aren’t allowed and cherry pickers are thin on the ground with all the preparations for Christmas under way. The fire brigade were asked if they could assist, but they didn’t get back to the ladies. Just how are they going to manage it?
So why the Brunel statue? The town of Swindon wouldn’t be here without Brunel and his railways, and they wanted to make something that hadn’t been already done with poppies. They decided to combine the two. Also, they group like to go big, and the poppy cloak will look big up there on the statue in the autumn light.
Here is Brunel wearing his finery:
The ladies at Stitch and Bitch knitting group said that they wanted to do something new and exciting with poppies for the town. They explained that the poppy appeal has become very much part of their group’s calendar. Not only have they been making poppy features, but they also make poppies to sell and to raise money for The Royal British Legion. They have already started selling poppies and Jo Jones has said that the customers are loving the variety and designs of the poppies combined with the unusual buttons. You can buy one of the groups Poppies by calling in to the Manor Farm pub on a Monday evening from 7.30pm where the group meet to cook up new knitting projects.
Here’s the ladies of Swindon Stitch ‘n’ Bitch in action:
The dressing of Mr Brunel in a poppy cloak will take place on Monday the 6th of November.
Members of Stitch and Bitch will be there from 10am to answer any questions about making the cloak or poppies.
About Stitch ‘n’ bitch the movement:
Stitch ‘n Bitch is a name that has been used to refer to social knitting groups since at least World War II. Before the slang term “Stitch ‘n Bitch” was used, groups of women in the 1940s would join to knit and talk in organized Stitch and Bitch clubs. The term was further used in the 1980s as part of the book Social History of American Knitting by Anne Macdonald. It is partly due to the book’s success that the modern day Stitch n’ Bitch knitting groups have emerged in cities around the world