Woollen wonders from Norfolk 'Queen of Knitting' Margaret Seaman could be scrapped without new home

  • Margaret Seaman reflects on her remarkable fundraising decade with ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell

Woollen wonders created by the country's "Queen of Knitting" are to go on show together for the first time - but face being scrapped if they cannot be found a permanent home.

Margaret Seaman, 94, has dedicated herself to knitting huge set-piece scenes over the last decade - works which have taken thousands of hours, raised even more for charity and earned her a British Empire Medal.

They include the royal Sandringham House, Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile and, during the pandemic, a hospital scene depicting the "NHS Knittingale".

Later this month, for the first time, all of her major works will be gathered and displayed together at the Norfolk Makers Festival, before Mrs Seaman hangs up the needles for good.

Margaret Seaman's NHS Knittingale hospital, crafted during the pandemic. Credit: ITV News Anglia

However, with nowhere to store the creations - some of which measure up to 18ft long - beyond the festival, there is a chance that they could simply be thrown away.

"As it's our last one, this will be very emotional but at the same time I realise it's got to come to an end," Mrs Seaman told ITV News Anglia.

"We couldn't have wanted to do more, for me at my age, than what we've done.

"When they walk in to look at your display and they stop dead, take a breath and then the tears roll down their face, you know you've done something good."

Margaret Seaman's 18-foot long Sandringham Estate. Credit: ITV News Anglia

She added: "We'll be looking for a new home for them, where people can still see them and enjoy them. Whether they raise money, or whatever they do, I don't mind - but it'd be better than binning them."

Mrs Seaman dedicated herself to her work after the death of her husband, Fred, in 2013.

In the decade since, her creations have been marvelled over by royals, raised more than £120,000 for charity, earned her a British Empire Medal and inspired countless crafters.

Crochet fan Ellen Siegert, 19, is such an admirer that she has made miniature Margarets in Mrs Seaman's honour.

"It is honestly so inspirational that she picked this up even later on in life and then has made so much of it," she said. "It's amazing."

Margaret Seaman's creations have raised more than £120,000 for charity. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's an achievement Mrs Seaman now looks back upon with pride.

"I've just proved that's never too late. I've enjoyed every minute of it and it's been an absolutely wonderful part of my life," she said.

And what would her late husband Fred have made of all this?

"I don't know. He's been watching me though, I know that," she said.

"Do you know - funny thing - I'm not a superstitious person but Fred died on 13 February.

"Ever since then, everything we count up seems to be 13. It always seems to end up in 13. That makes me think he's watching."

Fittingly, Norfolk Makers Festival starts at the Forum in Norwich on 13 April.

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