Enquiry Answered: Did the framework knitters use wool from local sheep?

Enquiry: The framework knitters in Anstey – did they make woollen stockings and if so did they use wool from local sheep? When boot and shoe manufacture took over were they using hides from local cattle? (hence Harry Roberts Leather Tannery – when did that come into existence?). If that’s the case, did local farms gradually switch over from sheep to cattle? Or were cattle just kept for milk? Were local cattle slaughtered at Home Farm?

Brian Kibble Replies:  The long-stapled wool used for knitting the socks was from local sheep according to the late Howard Bosworth – secretary of the Leicester Chamber of Commerce and choir master of the Anstey Methodist Church. Sadly, the only known knitting frame house in the grounds of Mafeking House, Park Road was recently demolished – the attached picture taken in 1970 shows the building with modernised windows and stucco cladding – this once housed five knitting frames.

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