Dorset Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers

Promoting traditional textile crafts across Dorset

January Newsletter highlights…

…and errata! Apologies for my error in the printed version  with reference to the Rendall Trophy; Jean Thorne’s lovely handspun Jacob’s coat was a worthy winner back in 2012, but the competition wasn’t held this year due to lack of entries. For the corrected version, see below, and check the main “pages” section if you wish to see our Constitution.

Your New Committee:

  • Jocelyn Banks, acting Chair
  • Clare Hadley, Secretary
  • Gil Huntley, Treasurer
  • Angie Corbet, Newsletter Editor
  • Mechelle Maidment
  • Gaye Morton
  • Raga Brown
  • Ros Bates
  • Kay White
  • Tim Parker

The Big Bale…

Now the National Exhibition is well & truly over, we can think local. Ideas as to what to do with the disappointing but large bale of Exmoor Horn/Portland fleece (at least it’s clean) have been trickling in, so I’d like to have an informal meeting in the morning of the February meeting. Your suggestions – positive, please – will be welcome, whether you are a spinner, dyer, weaver or feltmaker. We need to push the boundaries to create something adaptable for the various events we attend throughout the summer. And summer is not so far away…


Nora Webb 1918-2016


A multi-talented and experienced craftswoman, Nora Webb was a Guild member for more than 30 years. An enthusiastic and skilled weaver, spinner and dyer, in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association exhibitions she win the Hallet Rose Bowl Trophy for an article made from hand-spun yarn no fewer than 6 times, and on another occasion the Champion Of Champions Trophy.

Knitting and crochet were also amongst her talents – to say nothing of persistence. One of her prize-winning garments was a long, indigo and white hand-spun dyed and crocheted cape. This was lost (or stolen!) in London, so Nora just set to and recreated it!

One of her more notable creations was a ring-shawl. This was made from hand-spun wool and knitted in a lace pattern. It was called a ring-shawl because it was so fine, it could be pulled through a wedding ring – mine, in fact!

A major triumph was a shepherd’s linen smock made from flax that she spun and wove herself. It was decorated with smocking & Dorset Feather Stitch embroidery, and fastened with Dorset Buttons that she made herself. This smock was the centre of the linen section in the Guild’s Special Exhibition in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 2011.

For many years she was part of a group of spinners who met at various locations in the County. Gradually the membership of the group changed and decreased and eventually met on a monthly basis at Nora’s cottage in Winterbourne Stickland,. There she dispensed hospitality, direction and advice in generous measure. The group co-operated in several projects; a winter-themed display at a Blandford Exhibition, a teddy-bear that was raffled in support of a children’s hospice, a pouffe with a diamond theme to celebrate the Guild’s 60th anniversary and many others. Our last meeting there was only a couple of months before her death at 98.

Nora was always generous with help and instruction, even helping to introduce spinning and dyeing to the other residents at the care home where she spent the last few weeks of her life. She will be greatly missed but will live on through all who have been influenced by her wonderful craftwork, her insatiable enthusiasm and her love of life.

Jean White



Jean Thorne’s lovely handspun Jacobs coat, worthy winner of the Rendall Trophy in 2012!

Congratulations to all who won (and all those who entered) the various competitions last year. Elizabeth Charlton won the Harold Woodrow Trophy with a lovely large woven cushion, and it was selected for Killerton.

Carol Mellish won the Norah Whittaker Hall Memorial Trophy (our most prestigious competition) with a beautiful woven scarf; just what we need in this weather. Sadly there were no tapestries.

In October we had two more competitions. The Fortescue Cup for a handspun skein was won by Jenny Buckerfield and the Brenda Deakin Memorial Trophy for a handspun article, which was won by Jean Thorne. Sadly there were no entries for the Rendall Competitiion, which is normally held at the AGM, so we must all get working towards November 2017!

Competitions may not be held at the same  meeting every year. We try to marry them up with a speaker willing to also be a judge; not as easy as it sounds! We’ll let you know the dates for 2017 in the next Newsletter. In the meantime – keep working!



About thriftwizard

Mother of 5 & all-round busy person!

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This entry was posted on January 28, 2017 by in Newsletter and tagged .
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