Article provides answers for Museum

Maggie Law
Maggie Law

Following a story in last week’s Mearns Leader (May 10) appealing for information on a sock-knitting machine in the Maggie Law Maritime Museum, there has been a tremendous response.

The paper had only hit the shelves on Thursday morning, when a woman who is a retired fashion designer contacted the Museum to say that when she began her career in a knitwear factory in Leicester, each emplyee had to produce a pair of socks ona similar machine, as part of their induction and sje could even describe the model of the machine by name.

Later that day a local man turned up at the Museum, went straight to the knitting machine box and identified every single part and accessory, as he had worked on a similar machine as a young man. Another caller rang to say that she had just returned from Shetland, saw the article in the paper, and said that she had seen one in the Shetland Museum.

Jim Wallace from Angus Chainsaws in Inverleoir, called to say that he had gifted two of these machines to the Alford Museum, along with instruction booklets. In addition Jim went on to describe his own heritage collection of lawnmowers and chainsaws, which can be viewed by contacting him on (01241) 828067 and this has extended and connected another heritage collection.

Graham Niven of Gourdon, has gone even further with the knitting machine research, and has come up with detailed information and instruction manuals for the machine.

Project Director of the Museum, Dave Ramsay, said: “The response to the Mearns Leader article was just great and proves the worth of our local press. This means that the full story of Andrew Freeman, of man and machine in Gourdon, can now be told and embedded in the Gourdon heritage, thanks to Margaret and Bobby Gowans bringing this to my attention.”

The machine will now be refurbished and put on display in the Museum, and be used to provide demonstrations for school pupils and visitors.