THE YEARS ROLL ON!
FIRST ANNIVERSARY POEM
The Blanket Hall was built in 1721, and was for a long time the home of the Company of Witney Blanket Weavers and the principal secular (ie not a church) public building in the town. eventually, from the middle of the 19th century, it became the home of several successive private companies and then a private home.
When we arrived, we spent a year renovating the Hall, and then re-opened it to the public on 29th September 2015.
A year later, I wrote a poem in celebration both of the first anniversary of the re-opening, but also of the Hall in general.
Most of the people and events mentioned in the poem are described elsewhere on these pages... For instance 'The Forty Two' are the forty two original weavers who subscribed to the agreement to build the Hall. Other verses refer to the various companies that have operated in the hall, to Brian Crawford who lived at the Hall, to the hall itself, and to us arriving!
Lines written in September 2016 to celebrate the first anniversary of the re-opening of the Hall
Imagine that the Blanket Hall
Is but a blanket worked in stone,
And over years is torn and patched;
The patches torn, and then re-sewn.
More weavers chase The Forty Two,
Who set their loom and 'wove the Hall'.
Then those who use it somehow else;
As capote coat, or rug, or shawl...
The brewers, architects, and those
Who ran the lathes, and took the pledge,
Who counted births, and bottled pop ...
All darned, embroidered, whipped an edge.
One hundred High Street's public face,
The bell, the clock, the big green doors,
Owes much to Brian Crawford's stand
To help The Blanket Makers' cause.
And then a year ago the chance
To let the public back inside;
More darning ends, and making good...
Shop, pieshop, garden, more beside.
So, Happy Birthday! One year old!
Re-patched with love (and help from Ben),
Long battle-scarred, but now reborn...
Our Blanket Hall flies high again.
If you would like to run an event at The Blanket Hall, or have any ideas for an event, do please get in touch with our Hall Warden, Angela, HERE