Crafty ladies say goodbye Askrigg, hello Hawes

CAPTION: Left to right, back row, Gill Dickinson, artist Judith Bromley, Jill Hayter. Front, Maggie Townsend, Ellie Bates, Pam Whittaker.

By Betsy Everett

The crafty ladies of Askrigg are finally leaving the pop-up shop that has been their home for 18 months to join a new venture in the neighbouring market town of Hawes.

The craft workers, who were based at Gayle Mill until its closure in January 2018, took over the shop owned by the Askrigg Foundation in Main Street the following May for a trial period of a fortnight.

Local artists displayed their work there, and the cheerful and creative atmosphere made it a focal point of village life.

Now the building is due for major rebuilding after months of negotiation and planning, and work to convert it into three affordable homes and refurbish the commercial unit on the ground floor is pending.

The crafty ladies will shut up shop on Saturday, December 7, and join Ellie Bates at the Chapel Gallery in Hawes when she formally opens the venue the following Monday.

Ellie and husband John, have moved from Leeds to Hawes to start a new life for themselves and their 20-month-old on, Quinn. They have been working on the new craft shop and gallery since July.

Maggie Townsend who displayed her work in the Askrigg shop said they would be sad to leave the village.

“We have all had a wonderful time here and have been made so welcome. We came for a fortnight and stayed for 18 months, which says everything, really.”

Local artists, including Judith Bromley and Robert Nicholls and Piers Browne, Dinah Francis of Carperby, and Roger Lofts of Redmire have also displayed their work in the shop, which has acted as an information centre for the Foundation, and the charity Breast Cancer Care, through sales of work by Tippy Watson of Askrigg.

The shop will be open until December 7 every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm.

The Askrigg Foundation is expecting to welcome new tenants in the spring or early summer.

The Askrigg craft shop