Poppy Making at Wonderwool Wales

Well, that was something a little different for us. A friend of ours who is instrumental in organising the Wonderwool Wales Festival asked if we could help out for a few hours on Sunday. We said we’d be there as that’s what we’re like and so we headed off into the unknown on Sunday morning. We were heading towards the showground at Llanelwedd near Builth Wells for the 11th annual Wonderwool Wales Festival.

Wonderwool Wales Festival

We knew very little about the festival itself, other than it was a big show for lovers of everything woollen. According to the website it would be a

“chance to enjoy a fantastic range of Welsh and British artisan products and an opportunity to meet the wonderful people who made them. A great family day out with hands-on woolschool workshops and events showcasing the best in Welsh and British wool and natural fibres.”

Not necessarily something we’d be into but we were helping a friend out and it was a day out doing something different.

The Poppy Making Stand at Wonderwool Wales

The drive there was uneventful and fairly quiet without Morgan. He was going to a friends house as he doesn’t want to do anything with us at the moment. We parked up in the exhibitors car park and flashed our exhibitors passes. I then tried to find a toilet. There were loads of toilet buildings but they were all ladies only. Even the ones that were usually for gents had signs on saying ‘Ladies Only between 9am and 6pm’ – perhaps a reflection of the likely clientele at Wonderwool Wales! I eventually found a gents portaloo that I could use!

We were then shown to our station for a couple of hours on the ‘interactive poppy making stand’.

Poppy Making Stand at Wonderwool Wales

Poppy Making Stand at Wonderwool Wales

This is a fund-raiser for the Royal British legion. Wonderwool Wales are attempting to bring together their community of textile makers to recreate the united determination of the WW1 volunteers.

“The aim of the Centenary Textiles project is to produce a Community Textile Installation at Wonderwool Wales 2018 to mark the end of WW1. The ‘Curtain of Poppies’ will include 887,858 textile poppies, to commemorate each person from the UK who died serving their country.”

Volunteers are therefore being invited to use a range of patterns to make one or more textile poppies to feature in the Curtain of Poppies in 2018. We were on the stall to encourage people to make some poppies, either there on the day or to take patterns with them and make them at home. We obviously attempted to make some ourselves too. I managed to make a single woven poppy whilst there and sewed a couple onto the stems. Anna managed a few more woven poppies than me. However we were both put to shame by the various women who sat at the table with us and popped off a few knitted or crocheted poppies in a matter of minutes. We couldn’t even understand the instructions for these! Plenty of people took patterns for the WI meetings or textile groups though and we had a number of people drop off big bags of poppies that they had already made. I don’t think our small contribution will have helped that much but I guess every poppy (however badly made) helps!

Our time volunteering on the stand was soon done so we had a quick chat with Jane who was busy organising lots of other things too and then had a very brief stroll back through the show hall.  We took a very cursory look at the various stalls as we did so. We only spent 5 minutes or so looking around whereas the people that were there for real were there for the weekend. They were still being shipped in by the coach load as we left, presumably from WI groups around the country. It would seem as though the world of wool and textiles is alive and well in Wales. Not really our thing but we had a nice morning there, the burgers were good and it was good to help out a friend. I think my Mum would have loved it though – maybe I’ll put her name forward as a helper next year?

1 Response

  1. Mum says:

    I don’t mind helping for a couple of hours, providing I get waited on ,as usual, for the rest of the week end, as we’d have to stay at yours.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.