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Talks & Presentations for Groups and Clubs by Sarah Harris from Spinning Weal 

These presentations are suitable for WI meetings, church groups, history clubs, and for general interest. Sarah is available for daytime or evening bookings, and keeps a diary for at least a year ahead. Contact her for further information at, or telephone Spinning Weal on 01275 876000. If Sarah is not there, staff will take a provisional booking and Sarah will call you back to confirm. 

A History of Windmills and Windmillers in Somerset 

This is a slide show, tracing the rise and fall of the windmilling trade in Somerset. The specific type of mill to be found in the county is examined, together with the lives of the millers who worked with these remarkable machines. 

A History of Hand Spinning 

This presentation traces the long history of hand spinning, and its place in textile manufacture up until the Industrial Revolution. Hand spindles and historic spinning wheels are brought along to be shown in use, including a reproduction great wheel, which features the sharp spindle made famous by the tale of Sleeping Beauty. 

Marie Antoinette's Guide to Farming 

This is a light hearted tale of a woman who knew nothing about farming, but who set herself up with a little farm, rather as Marie Antoinette did. The tale follows the trials and tribulations of a novice farmer, and the adventures of an amorous bantam cockerel named Barry White. There are some sexual references in this talk, not explicit, rather comical, not offensive, but it is best to warn you..... 

A History of Knitting Patterns 

This is more fun than it sounds, and we see how social history is expressed through knitting patterns, from the earliest printed patterns, through to the current revival of the craft. This is a nostalgic journey for those who once suffered the indignities of a knitted swimsuit, and a look at the fashions of a bygone, but not necessarily a more innocent, age. Illustrated with slides of patterns from Sarah's extensive collection. 

Pilot Gigs - rescue and racing on the West Country Coast 

This is a slide show which traces the evolution and use of the Cornish Pilot Gig, a beautiful 32 foot clinker built working boat which was once lifeboat, smugglers accomplice and source of income for the men of the villages around the West Country Coast. Today these boats race in an exciting and fast growing sport which is spreading far beyond the West Country. Payment for this talk goes towards funding the work of Clevedon Pilot Gig Club, which offers rowing opportunities for everyone, from competitive athletes to disadvantaged youngsters. 
The fee for the talks is £50, with the exception of the Gig talk (donations to the gig club will be at your group's discretion, with £50 being a suggested minimum amount).