Crafty Club – May 2020

As these are unprecedented times I thought I would reminisce about the Crafty Club.

In 2001 I had to retire from my full-time job due to a family crisis.  Then in around 2005  due to a chance meeting in the village, the Crafty Club was “born”.

I met two ladies (Tracey & Jude) in the village who were, at the time, attending a sewing class that was not all they expected.  From this simple conversation came the idea of opening our own craft club – but where?

Tracey, who worked in the local hairdressers, suggested asking her boss if we could use the premises on a Monday afternoon for this club, and so we had a venue.  At the time, (somehow) we managed to find six other ladies who were interested in joining our newly formed club.

Tracey, Jude and myself decided we would start at the beginning of 2006.  Then again, fate seemed to intervene as I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2006 so I missed the first few meetings.

Following on my surgery, and feeling 100% better I joined the ladies on a Monday in the local Hairdressers. Thinking back and remembering the nine of us sitting in a circle with each person bringing our “crafts”, brings a smile to my face.

Sometime later other crafters were asking about our club, and it soon became obvious we would need larger premises. That said, the group was too big for the hairdressers, but not big enough to fund bigger premises at a large cost.

One member of the group suggested approaching the Baptist Chapel with a view to using their “meeting” room and so enquiries were made to see (1) if it was available on a Monday between 12.30 and 14.30 and (2) how much it would cost.  Both questions were answered favourably, and so the Crafty Club was officially opened to anyone and everyone.

The three photos are of some of the original members busy in the Baptist Rooms.  Unfortunately three of them are sadly no longer with us – maybe you remember them

Some original members

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Photograph 1 – Mrs Wright, Mrs Wright’s daughter, Mrs Mattacola & Sue Madeley 

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Photograph 2 – Rachel Dunkley, Mrs Wright’s daughter, Mrs Wright & Mrs Mattacola

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Photograph 3 – Joan Eales, Olive Peck, Pam Green & Elaine Oldroyd.

[Mrs Wright, Mrs Mattacola and Olive Pack have since passed away]

From the start of the club having nine members, we have grown over the years and now have between 25 – 30 people on the list with an average of 20 attending on a regular basis.  Over the years we have unfortunately lost quite a few of our members as well as several moving away from the area.

The first Christmas the club arranged a Christmas meal at the Narrow Boat, which seemed to be well liked.  Following on from this the small “committee” decided that we could just as easily cook a Christmas dinner, with portions to suit all and so between 2011 and 2013 this was arranged in the Village Hall.

The party involved singing including carols, plus various poems/antidotes, with a “Secret Santa” present.   Between 2014 – 2016 we returned to the Baptist Rooms for our Christmas meal, as it was felt to be much more “cosy”.

From 2017 the club moved to the Village Hall, as the Baptist Rooms were proving too small with the ever-increasing membership.

Christmas 2017 it was decided to have a Buffet which was pre-ordered from M&S, and this proved very popular especially as there were little or no plates etc to wash!

During the last two years we have added some really “challenging” – although amusing games to the party which appears to have been a big hit with all the ladies.

Christmas 2016 the club decided to hold a Christmas Fayre in the Baptist rooms, with the ladies showing and selling some of their fine handicrafts.

One of the tables from this Craft Fayre

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With this success in mind it was decided from 2017 to date to hold an annual Christmas Fayre in conjunction with the W.I. who provided the refreshments and helped with a cake stall etc.

At the Christmas 2019 Christmas Fayre it was with trepidation that the Tree Festival was “resurrected” in the Baptist Rooms along with the Fayre in the Village Hall.  There seemed to be a steady stream of people coming to “inspect” the trees (which were all artificial and therefore identical) with the aim of voting for the best decorated tree. NetherHeyfordCraftyClub5

Since 2017 there are now “Workshops” organised throughout the year which have proved very popular, as it gives the ladies a chance to try new skills without too much outlay.

2020 is the start of the 14th year the club has been running and until this present pandemic the club is still thriving.

So to all you crafters and future crafters – take care and stay safe – see you all when this current crisis is over.

Chris Phillipps

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