Knitted gingerbread house travels from Bideford to Bangkok

A LIFESIZE knitted gingerbread house is set to forge new Thais between North Devon and the Far East this autumn. The 140sq ft house, knitted in aid of Great Ormond Street Children s Hospital and the North Devon Hospice in 2007, has already been on tour

A LIFESIZE knitted gingerbread house is set to forge new "Thais" between North Devon and the Far East this autumn.

The 140sq ft house, knitted in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and the North Devon Hospice in 2007, has already been on tour in the UK and in Paris after being unveiled for the first time at Bideford's Atlantic Village shopping outlet.

Yesterday (Monday) the house, weighing 790 kilos, was loaded onto a container ship bound for Thailand, where it will go on display in Bangkok's Central World Shopping Centre to help promote a Thai community knitting project.

The creation - complete with garden, trees, woollen furniture, food, and even knitted plants and animals - was the brainchild of Bideford textile designer Alison Murray, and was knitted by an army of enthusiasts from as far afield as Canada, Spain, and the USA.


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The house will be used to promote an initiative called "Let's Knit for the Needy", a project being launched by international Thai hospital, the BNH Hospital. Alison, 46, is being invited to Thailand as a guest of honour at the opening next month.

"I must admit I was taken aback when I received a phone call asking if I would be willing to let the house travel to Thailand, but I hope it will inspire many people to knit squares for the blankets which will keep the mountain children warm during the winter," she said.

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"Hopefully, the novelty of a knitted English house on display in Bangkok will certainly spark an interest for knitting in a nation not normally associated with woollen garments and fluffy accessories.

"It is a great community care project and I am delighted that our gingerbread house can help."

After being on display in the shopping centre for five days, the house will then move to the lobby of the BNH Hospital where it will remain on display until the end of September.

A display taken from the knitted house will be presented to Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at a seminar as part of the hospital's corporate social responsibility presentation.

"This is a great accolade for everyone who contributed to the knitting of the gingerbread house, particularly those in North Devon who supported my crazy idea," added Alison.

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