Wednesday, 8 June 2011


   I was at our latest TforT Fair at Poundbury, nr. Dorchester, in the Pummery Square Hall, today, this was equipped with a lift and every convenience and good parking, and was a very splendid version of a traditional market hall with open spaces and pillars below and rooms above for large events such as ours.  The whole building was filled with every kind of textile and  from every period.   One of the most interesting stands was Martin Conlan's with a kaliedoscope of Chinese garments adapted to British fashion.  We have seen people queueing up at two previous fairs round his clothes rails, and have persuaded him to bring his large and attractive stock to both the fair here at Bradford and to the American Museum. You will be surprised at the designs, and the incredibly good value of properly tailored ladies wear. 
  While there I met an old friend and we talked at length about Dorset buttons (she is quite an expert) and I was able to tell her that I had recently bought a good quantity of the extremely rare high-top buttons, actually made in Germany by a firm called Adler, printed on the cards.   See my Blog FOR DORSET READ GERMANY.    My friend suggested that these were made in areas that were very skilled in lace-making.
   Then we discussed laundry wheezes for removing stains and agreed that moonshine on a frosty night was even better than sunshine for bleaching linen and removing stains; and then she mentioned Winter Hedges, I'd never heard it before - it was the nickname for the so called Shiela Maid ceiling airers made of metal brackets with wooden slats through them for drying and airing laundry in a kitchen or scullery.  I am so old fashioned I actually have two, one in my laundry passage room and one in the garage - all in frequent use and dripping with French linens;  I don't like tumble dryers, they take a lot of lint out of the clothes, and are not good for linen and hemp.  Known colloquially as 'winteredges' dropping the h, there is a reference to them in an 18th c. inventory of the stately home, Harewood House in Yorkshire.

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