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Whitchurch Silk Mill weaves its magic once again
WEAVING has resumed at Whitchurch Silk Mill after nearly a year.
Increasing costs meant silk fabric production ceased at the historic old mill and tourist attraction in December last year, after nearly two centuries.
But a new board of trustees has approved a five-week trial, ending on November 17.
Whitchurch resident Marie Page has been re-employed as a weaver at the mill in Winchester Street, to weave a striped taffeta, which will be sold in the mill’s shop, once finished.
If the trial shows that weaving could be commercially viable then it is hoped it will return permanently.
Keith Watts, chairman of Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust, said: “Whitchurch has prided itself on being home to the only working silk mill in the country, and it was a blow to the town when weaving stopped last December.
"One purpose of the mill, as set out in its charitable aims, is to weave, and one of the conditions of funding from the county council is that it does so.
"But more importantly, the Silk Mill is part of the beating heart of Whitchurch and a site of national significance and it’s essential that it continues to weave silk.
“We don’t want the mill to become just a static museum to a lost art, and we certainly don’t want it sold off for commercial purposes. We are extremely grateful for the support of Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust who own the building, the Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill, our local councils and everyone who works at the mill. We owe it to all of them to do our best.”
For information visit whitchurchsilkmill.org. uk.