By Betsy Everett
The crafty ladies, and some men, whose work supported the Gayle Mill Trust for many years, lost their home in March when the mill closed its doors pending refurbishment and upgrading.
In early June they took temporary sanctuary in the shop owned by the Askrigg Foundation in Market Place, which was empty, and created a pop-up craft shop.
The original plan was to stay for two weeks but it has proved so successful that the shop has remained open for more than six months. On Saturday, December 15, it will close for the winter season, with hot drinks and mince pies, and a chance to buy some last-minute Christmas presents.
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Craft worker Pam Whittaker said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed being in Askrigg since June and would like to thank everyone in the village who has been so welcoming and the many who have supported us by buying some of our craft work.” Local artists, including Judith and Robert Nicholls and Piers Browne of Askrigg, and Dinah Francis and Roger Lofts of Redmire, have also displayed their work in the shop, which has acted as an information centre for the Foundation. The charity Breast Cancer Care, through the work of Tippy Watson of Askrigg, has raised more than £200 since June through the sale of calendars, photographic prints and cards.
The pop-up shop is hoping to reopen in the spring, possibly mid-March, depending on progress made with the proposed work to convert the building into affordable flats to rent, an office and retail unit.
The shop will be open next week (beginning Monday, December 10) on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm.