Yarnbombers set to descend on New Lanark

Celebrating history...using wool is apt to wrap up history at New Lanark given its woollen mill heritage, which will be celebrated during Scotland In Six on Tuesday, April 18.
Celebrating history...using wool is apt to wrap up history at New Lanark given its woollen mill heritage, which will be celebrated during Scotland In Six on Tuesday, April 18.

Scotland in Six – a world heritage day celebration 5000 years in the making – will be staged at New Lanark on Tuesday, April 18.

Knit New Lanark is one of six events being held at world heritage sites across the country as part of the special celebration.

Yarnbomber decoration...New Lanark's Institute will get a new look on April 18, thanks to knitters from near and far.

Yarnbomber decoration...New Lanark's Institute will get a new look on April 18, thanks to knitters from near and far.

Yarnbombers, guerrilla knitters and crochet hookers will descend on New Lanark to cover as much of the site as possible in woollen yarn.

Co-ordinated by Dig It! 2017 and funded by EventScotland, knitters will be yarnbombing the traditional social hub of the village – the Institute!

There will also be talks about the history and archaeology of New Lanark, skills taster workshops for heritage stitching and, of course, lots of stitching, knitting and crochet.

A Dig It! spokeswoman said: “Throughout the course of the day, we’ll add more and more to the yarnbomb site, creating a very different view of this iconic venue.”

Footprint...of Mantilla Row will be dug out to allow visitors to see where the building once stood but, before that, locals are being invited to help excavate the site.

Footprint...of Mantilla Row will be dug out to allow visitors to see where the building once stood but, before that, locals are being invited to help excavate the site.

However, that’s not the only event readers are being asked to participate in at New Lanark next month.

As part of the site’s own celebrations of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, readers are being asked to contribute their own memories of New Lanark over the years.

A scanathon event will be held on Monday, April 17, to source new material from people who used to work and live in the village.

Publicity officer Melissa Reilly explained: “We already have a massive archive of hundreds of pictures and stories.

“However, we’d like to capture new, additional material – whether that be pictures, videos or oral histories.

“So we’re inviting anyone who has that material up their attic or who has a story to tell to come along on April 17 and share it with us.”

But the focus won’t only be on people who worked or lived in New Lanark.

“We also want to scan photographs, videos and hear stories from people who worked in other industries in Lanark and the Clyde Valley,” said Melissa.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the scanathon event is the fact that some of the material will be used later in the year – it will feature in New Lanark’s stunning Shining Lives spectacular sound, light and projection event.

Taking place on October 20 and 21, the free event is a first for the village and is expected to draw in a crowd of more than 1000 people over the two nights.

Melissa said: “It’s a unique event, similar, I suppose, to the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry.

“It’s an idea we’ve had bubbling away in the background for some time but funding from the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology signature events fund has given us the opportunity to finally do it.

“We’ll have an events page on our website where people will be able to book their free tickets, which will be a must as I think the demand for Shining Lives will be high.”

On Sunday, April 16, and Monday, April 17, budding archaeologists will also be able to get their hands dirty at New Lanark.

For there will be an archaeological dig at the site of the Mantilla Row tenement building, which was demolished in 1988.

Melissa said: “As part of our Townscape Heritage/CARS project, we are planning to mark out the footprints of Mantilla Row so that people know a building once stood in that spot.

“Mantilla Row was constructed around 1790 as a three unit terrace, two storeys high with a basement.

“Settlement of the foundations meant that it was shored up in 1977 but it was eventually demolished in 1988 as its collapse may have damaged Long Row and Wee Row.

“Before we mark out its footprint, we want the public to come along to see if they can discover any material to add to New Lanark’s history.”

Eventually, the site will be marked out and interpretation boards set up to share Mantilla Row’s history with visitors.

But if you want a chance to help dig up history, make sure you book in for the dig on April 16 and 17.

Booking is essential as spaces will be limited. Check the website at www.newlanark.org for more information.

Meanwhile, in the run up to Scotland in Six, knitted contributions are being sought and visitors to the site will find a pom-pom making station in the Institute.

If you would like to get involved ahead of the event by sending in your own knitting creations to add to the yarnbomb, simply email sara@digit2017.com.

Restoration at the Double

How do you fancy living in the heart of Lanarkshire’s most historic village?

Three people have already snapped up their chance to do exactly that by purchasing one of seven exclusive units in the restored Double Row building.

As part of the Townscape Heritage initiative, in the past year seven tenements have been restored to shell stage for residential use.

Four of the units are still up for sale through Rettie and Company meaning there’s still time to snap up your very own heritage property.

Melissa said: “The building work has been going really well and the scaffolding will be down and builders off site by the end of March.

“The tenements have been restored to shell status, meaning they are wind and water tight but everything else remains to be done.

“So we’re actually looking for restorer buyers – people who have the vision to come in and create their own unique finished home.

“It’s a chance for people to create their dream property.”

The exclusive development boasts seven properties – six are four storey with one five storey home.

But as Double Row boasts one of the best locations in the village – overlooking the Falls of Clyde – and offers the last opportunity to design a Grade A-listed home in this distinctive location, you will likely need a dream restoration budget too! We couldn’t see any price tags on the Rettie and Co website but, as the old saying goes, if you have to ask, you most likely can’t afford it!

The eighth tenement in Double Row, known as the Museum Stair, is a scheduled monument. It too will undergo internal consolidation work.

Interpretation, including a virtual tour, will then be created for visitors.