In the little town where we live is a beautiful old Town Hall that houses a museum, a town office, a ball room and has an undercroft (a sort of roofed open air area) and a "Shambles" that up until now has been open to the elements and so called because the upper building over hangs part of it. The building itself is very large and imposing and gives the air of belonging to a very large town when in fact our little town is relatively small and probably only just scrapes in as a definition of a town rather than a large village
The town hall has recently been undergoing some refurbishment to the Shambles, to take it from an open air area to a beautiful glass roofed meeting room. It's hard to see it on the picture above, the area to the front behind the columns is the under croft and then behind this is the town hall office and the shambles.
For ages I have searched for a local social group where I can meet like minded crafters to share ideas and skills and have a general chit chat. As you may have probably gathered, I'm a bit if a social recluse, big social events aren't my thing, I just don't enjoy them, in fact they positively terrify me! I also have a hearing loss due to loud tinnitus for which I have to wear hearing aids and I find I just can't follow conversations in noisy social gatherings and it just makes me feel silly keep asking people to repeat things over and over again or just smiling and pretending I've got the jist of what's being said when really I don't have a clue! I guess some people are social butterflies and some just aren't, and I fall into the latter group that prefers a smaller social interaction.
Anyways back to what I was saying, I hadn't been able to find a crafty group and during a craft event at our local church in the summer I was discussing this with people there and discovered the only thing available craft wise was the U3A (university of the 3rd age) which is aimed a retirees of which I am not! I was also talking to a lovely lady who oversees the town council and she told me about the shambles and suggested I created my group and met there once the renovation was complete. First of all I dismissed it, then I thought "why the hell not?!" And it is with great pleasure that I can finally announce that my new craft and create social group starting in March! I'm really excited, it will be on a Monday morning for 3 hours and I've planned it as a not for profit group, thinking I'll just charge £3 per person each week which will cover the cost of hiring the shambles for the session and provide refreshments.
I'm really hoping it'll take off, if it does I'd like to start some more groups in the surrounding villages as I'm sure there are probably many like minded people there too, and worryingly probably some lonely older people as well, who would appreciate a weekly get together, we're quite rural here and the transport links aren't great so something like a morning group could be just the thing. Although crafting is very in vogue at the moment, it did drop from fashion for a while and has seen a decline over the past few decades with the invention of modern materials and quick ways to make clothing and home wears etc and I fear if we don't act now, some of the experience and skills held by older folk won't be passed on and could be lost forever. They have something very valuable to pass onto us younger folk and it would be a dreadful shame not to learn from their experience.
I also have another piece of exciting news, but I want to take some pictures to show you so I'll keep you hanging on until I've done so! It won't take long and I'll try to do it today.
Ta ta for now! X