EDUCATION, farming and arts organisations are all backing the Kendal Wool Gathering, which is about to return for a second year.
The weekend – which was a huge success in its inaugural year in 2013 – will celebrate the town’s associations with wool throughout its history.
More than 4,000 people attended last year’s event in K Village, with a mixture of demonstrations, fun activities and displays connected to the cloth on which the town’s wealth was built.
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Many major participants have booked again, including Wools of Cumbria Carpets, now based in Sedbergh, The Wool Clip – organisers of Cockermouth’s WoolFest – The Threshing Barn, Jill Harrison’s Wool Image, Kate Little’s Lakeland Valley Goats and Shepherdess, featuring designer outfits and books by Gathering organiser Alison O’Neill.
New attractions will include Knitwits from Windermere, Hannalin Crafts from Cartmel and Art-Felt Designs of Bolton.
Historian Roger Bingham will give a talk on the Kendal’s wool heritage and walks will be run by Blue Badge guides.
The Mayor’s Parlour in Kendal Town Hall will open on the Saturday afternoon featuring displays of memorabilia and the Westmorland Agricultural Society will provide livestock and displays at K Village, telling the story of sheep, which breeds are used for what and insights into life on the fells.
Kendal Collaborative Partner-ship, a co-operative of Kendal primary schools, has engaged two teachers to embed Kendal’s wool heritage into the school curriculum.
Dan Duxbury and Michelle Crowley from Ghyllside School spent the summer holidays working on a pack for schools and early results will be put on show at the Gathering.
Mr Duxbury said: “As a partnership of local schools in an area with a unique heritage, we are very excited about being involved in Kendal Wool Gathering.
“Living where we do it is important that all of our children have the opportunity to learn about the way in which Kendal has grown and developed largely due to the thriving woollen industry.”
Two arts organisations are supporting the Gathering.
Kendal Arts Community is putting on a display entitled Fell and Fleece and Eden Arts is donating part of its popular Canopy Art to display at the event at K Village on October 11 and 12.