Skills of the past get modern twist

18:08, Jan 30 2013

Celebrate the 1940s' era at the annual Brayshaw Park Heritage Day next Wednesday, February 6, with vintage cars and bikes, a Delta Group battle, vintage hay stacker and baling display, miniature train rides and many other period displays and demonstrations.

Numerous societies and guilds will be present on the day which will have continuous displays from 10am till 4pm. There will also be light refreshments, raffles and souvenirs available, with entry being a gold coin donation and children under-10 enter free.

One of the groups which will be sharing what they do and the skills they have is the Marlborough Creative Fibre Guild. Looms, spinning wheels and anything to do with turning raw fibres into beautifully crafted garments is what they are all about, and members are eager to share their knowledge.

"We have spinners, knitters, weavers, felters, tapestry weavers and many other skills," said guild chairperson, Pam Hilliard.

"We have some amazingly skilled ladies who make some really beautiful things using all kinds of fibres like merino wool, alpaca wool, silk, hemp and even synthetic fibres."

The guild members are always eager to share their knowledge and will be doing demonstrations and lessons, allowing interested people a chance to try out the various skills.


These crafts have been around for hundreds of years and before the advent of modern machinery were one of the only ways for making clothing, particularly high quality items.

"It's actually really therapeutic; you can just sit down and all you think about is the work you are doing," said Pam, who started spinning after her son bought her a second hand spinning wheel in 1997.

"I decided that since I had one I had better learn and I've been enjoying it ever since."

Second hand wheels can bought for under $100.

"Creating a beautiful garment from the unspun material all the way through to the finished product is a specially satisfying feeling, said Pam.

The Marlborough Express