Shed-load of improvements to help The Pitstop’s weavers

The guests are pictured at the opening of the new 'weaving shed'.
The guests are pictured at the opening of the new 'weaving shed'.

The Pitstop has provided specialist accommodation for its popular weaving project, with a new weaving shed in the basement.

Professor Chris Whatley, Dundee University’s retiring vice-principal made a return visit to The Pitstop recently to officially open the new facility.

The shed was designed to create a dedicated space for the looms and spinning wheels used by the young people in the Academy Street premises. Weaving tutor Ashleigh Slater decided that some order and structure was needed to the weaving area and he approached the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, the Dundee Weavers and the Glover Trade for funding.

Each organisation readily agreed and they were happy to build on the good work started by Past Deacon Convener Bill McLaren. Mr McLaren provided the original grant of £1,000 from the Nine Trades to get the weavers started at Pitstop.

Ashleigh is a member of the Weaver Incorporation and runs his own weaving business in Blairgowrie while Professor Whatley previously wrote the history of local textime company Don and Low in his book, ‘Onwards from Osnaburgs’ which the weaving group used as research material for its project on Forfar’s textile roots.

Dawn Mullady, project leader said: “We have been delighted by the support that Prof Whatley has given us and he was quite overwhelmed when he opened the weaving area officially to discover it was called, ‘Whatley’s Weaving Shed’”.

Also present were Jim Shearer, Deacon Convener of the Nine Trades; Martin Smith, Boxmaster of the Glover Trade; Isobel Ross chairwoman of Forfar Community Council and Councillor Ian McLaren.

Ron Scrimgeour, Collector of the Nine Trades of Dundee, said: “Weaving dominated Forfar in the past, then declined and became and academic study. Now the shuttles are flying again in a creative and artistic way at The Pitstop project.”