Chiseldon and Liddington (Men Only) Knitting Circle

Hazel May, my dear friend, this story has to be told. Now, before I begin, let me say that Hazel is a formidable woman, writer of medical books, opinionated and no slouch in an argument.

One evening some years ago, a friend let slip that he was a Mason. Hazel lost it: “These men discriminate against women, bolster the glass ceiling . . .” and on and on she went. As a man with five sisters, four daughters and a wife I have sympathy, but to encourage discussion I said: “Aren’t there women-only groups.”

She challenged for examples. “Knitting circles,” I suggested.

“Knitting circles?” hissed Hazel, as Lady Bracknell would do. She let me have it.

I phoned the guys next day, shared the story and said we had to do something. The outcome was the Chiseldon and Liddington (Men Only) Knitting Circle. We got together for a few pints, pretended to knit woolly jumpers, took lots of photos, and attempted a long winter scarf in Gloucester Rugby colours, Hazel’s team. “Knit one, Purl one,” could be heard all over Swindon.

We were slow knitters so only managed a neck-tie. The neck-tie and a photo-book of our Knitting Circle were presented to Hazel, who laughed heartily. She wore the neck tie to the next rugby match and that was the end of it.

Hazel’s son, Jonny, is back at Gloucester Rugby so we’re all Gloucester fans again. They could do with Hazel’s support in getting up the Premiership Table (their glass ceiling) so here’s a Limerick to help:

There is a fine woman from Chissie

Whose language can be quite prissy

About feminist ceilings

And men without feelings

It’s getting us all in a tizzy.


First published in Swindon Link

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