The needles of Great Torrington’s Knit and Natter group are busy gearing up for a major knitted Christmas scene.

The popular group of people who gather weekly at the town hall to knit, natter and crochet has already made its mark on the town, with last year’s Poppy Project to create 10,000 knitted and crocheted poppies for Remembrance.

This Christmas, they are inviting the community to join them again in creating a giant festive scene, including a Christmas tree complete with decorations, nativity scene and a Christmas street theme.

In recognition of their part in the community, Torrington mayor, Councillor Keeley Allin, has presented the group with her Good Citizen Award for 2020.

Cllr Allin said: “I have also received comments about how warm, welcoming and friendly the group is, with some members even travelling from outside of Great Torrington for weekly meetings.

“Community is what our town thrives on and so I know that this community group are truly deserving of the award.”

Knit and Natter

The group meet weekly at the Undercroft at the town hall from 10am to 12noon, while during the Covid-19 lockdown they have been speaking regularly on Facebook, while those without social media have received weekly calls from the town hall manager.

Attendance during normal times ranges from 20 to 35 each week and numbers had been growing, with people from all walks of life.

Some of those in the group have been ‘socially prescribed’ by their doctors and social workers and the weekly meetings have been a lifeline for them.

Knit and Natter was set up in July 2019 by local lady, Rosemary Purcell (Rosie). Following her son Michael’s death in 2015 Rosie suffered from severe depression and struggled to socialise.

As she slowly recovered, she wanted to set up a group to help others in similar situations to herself and to share her skills and passion for knitting.

Other group projects have included twiddle muffs for people suffering from dementia, blankets and mittens for premature babies, plus a stunning knitted Mayfair scene this year that unfortunately could not be publicly unveiled as planned because the event had to be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

It is an uncertain time, but the members of Knit and Natter are hopeful of being reunited again when things improve.