Monday, 29 October 2012
A Small Treasure
I said a while ago (here) that sorting publications at Lee Mills had progressed to the point where all the many boxes of "Patterns Unsorted" had now been through at least the first stage of sorting. Although that was a good thing, a downside is that we are much less likely to come across unexpected treasures. A box labelled "Patterns Unsorted" often contained a complete mix of all kinds of papers - magazines, patterns torn out of magazines, newspapers cuttings, etc. - as well as pattern leaflets. And occasionally, something really special. Now we have been through all those boxes once, so we more or less know what we have, and there won't be any more surprises.
But there are still a few treasures that have been forgotten. Last week, one of the other volunteers was looking through a bundle of letters and found a postcard, inside the letter from the donor. It's a birthday greetings card and was sent to a girl called Mildred by her "Auntie and Uncle" in 1933. Presumably, Mildred liked to knit. Or wear stripy jumpers. (The original photo was black and white, or rather sepia, and was coloured by hand, so the lurid yellow, green and orange colour scheme may be just the colourist's imagination.) And she must have kept the card, probably for a long time - it was eventually bought by the donor at a fair some 70 years later.
I know that Montse Stanley collected postcards with a knitting theme. (Her collection of all kinds of objects related to knitting is housed at the University of Southampton, while the publications in her collection are a component of the Knitting Reference Library at Winchester School of Art - I visited the Knitting Reference Library while I was in Winchester for the In the Loop conference in September, but I have not seen the rest of her collection.) In an article in The Knitter, Linda Newington (librarian of the Knitting Reference Library) explains that Montse's husband Thomas Stanley had a postcard business, and she started her own collection through going to postcard fairs with him. But as far as I know, this one is the only postcard in the Guild's collections. We shall certainly treasure it.