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Visitor Guide Info

Introduction WHO WE ARE Wiltshire Guild Spinners Weavers Dyers, part of the National Association and one of over 100 Guilds throughout the UK.

WHERE WE ARE Steeple Ashton occupying the main part of the old Village School. WHY ARE WE IN STEEPLE ASHTON? - the lease was ending on our previous premises and we have been here since 2009.

WHY ARE WE HERE TODAY? The main aim of the Guild is to preserve skills associated with our local heritage of rearing sheep and also to promote those skills and pass them on to the next generation. We do this by sharing our combined knowledge and skills, enhancing our individual areas of expertise by learning new things, and by offering regular courses in spinning, weaving, felting and any number of other crafts associated with SWD. These include patchwork, beading, dressmaking. We have come here today to invite you and your WIs to visit us at our home in Steeple Ashton so that we can show you what we do, and give you the opportunity to have a go. Our premises, which are fully accessible, with wheelchair ramps to the weaving studios and a stair lift in the main building, comprise 4 studios, a garden where we grow plants which are then used for dyeing, and a car park. If you visit us in the summer you could also enjoy a walk around the beautiful village of Steeple Ashton with its historic church, great pub and interesting architecture, many properties having an historic association with the woollen industry.

Your visit would start off with an introductory talk from one of our members and this would take place in our largest studio where we would also provide refreshments. We would then divide you into smaller groups and offer demonstrations in spinning, both with a wheel and drop spindle. Someone could also be showing you how a fleece is prepared for spinning and talk to you about different fleeces and you could have a look at our various display boards which show the number of fleeces available to us and then, if anyone wishes to, have a go we will have several members and spinning wheels on hand. Another group would be visiting the weaving studios; we have two rooms, one where we have mainly table looms, and the other floor looms, and also our dyeing area. You can see our current projects and weaving samples. If the weather is nice you could have a look around the garden.

We suggest that you may prefer to visit us in the summer, either during the day, or evening when the days are longer. The cost for a visit would be 60 for a maximum of 12. This would include refreshments. If you wish to bring a larger party please contact us. The additional cost would be 5 a head. We do have a comprehensive website which you can look at if you require further information about the Guild.

PROPS Sheep board Spinning Wheel with a selection of fleece samples Drop Spindles, Carders Guild leaflets

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