Some people claim that time travel is a science fiction conceit never to be achieved in our lifetime. When I walked into the covered market at Keighley, Yorkshire, I passed through a time and space continuum. Or, to put it another way, I thought, Ooh, I’ve been here before. When I say ‘before’ I mean precisely 21 years ago.
It hadn’t changed a bit.
Isn’t it amazing? Some ancient yet fresh part of my brain thought, If I turn left and a right, I’m going to see a fabric stall. And see a fabric stall I did.
This is the third time I’ve spotted the rose print cotton that I’m planning to use on my make of the B5605 dress. Yes, the new term at Morley College has started and the pattern pieces have been cut out. Soon, I need to actually invest in the final fabric. But out of the three sightings, the cheapest has been at … Goldhawk Road! Enough said, I’m holding out. It had ruddy well better still be there next weekend.
The arrangement of stalls at Keighley market is a Sewist’s dream. Two stalls selling fabric, and one selling notions including the buttons above. One stall even stocks knock down patterns:
Basically, a few metres of space provides everything you would need: pattern, fabric and notions. A Sewist could go home and start work immediately!
But me? I desperately wanted a little camping stool and a magic wand to make myself invisible so that I could settle down for the day and earwig. There was a three way conversation going on between an American customer and the two Yorkshire Asian stall holders. She wanted a loud bell for her cat’s collar, one very camp stall holder was imploring his friend to embroider his mum’s sari fabric, and the three of them joked and chatted with each other in dialogue that could have come straight out of a Peter Kay sketch. I was in heaven, my ears flapping like mad as I pretended to peruse the buttons. I LOVE people watching.
I thought I’d share another little insight from my trip to God’s Own Country. After meeting the people here, I really think it is GOC. That killer combination of warmth – ‘Here you are, love, let me help you’ – and, how do I put this, strength – ‘Cross me and your life won’t be worth living’ – is incredibly seductive. You just know where you stand with people!
Anyway, anyway. I visited a library where I saw this:
I love that it’s ‘profusely illustrated’!
This is from 1897. I wonder if I’ll see anything sewing related, I thought, flicking through the ancient pages. Yet again, Yorkshire didn’t disappoint:
From what I can gather, a reader could look at any illustration of an outfit in this magazine and order a pattern for it! Wow. More fascinating still are the waist measurements: the highest they go to is a 28 inch waist. Yeah, ahem. I’d have needed a corset! Well, I guess that’s what they were all wearing.
So I’m now on a train back to London. I love London, but I truly adored Yorkshire. Impossible to commute between the two. For now, time travelling memories will have to do.