Weaver’s Olympian effort strikes gold
Published on 08 August 2012 09:00 AM
Little did 90-year-old Dorothy Thorp, the oldest member of the 25-strong Kilcreggan Weaving & Spinning Group think, as she tucked a personal message into her hand-woven tartan cushion, that she would become part of Olympic history.
The message, in which Dorothy recalled the 1948 ‘austerity' Olympics, held in Britain just after the Second World War, was intended to give inspiration to whichever Olympic or Paralympic athlete received it, and in Dorothy's case, it seems to have served its purpose. Her cushion was seized upon by Scottish rower, Katherine Grainger, who went on to win gold in the double sculls at her fourth attempt.
The ladies who make up the Kilcreggan Weaving & Spinning Group were taking part in "Project Woolsack", part of the Cultural Olympiad supported by Prince Charles and aimed at rejuvenating interest and production of 100% British wool products and spreading the word about traditional crafts. They each knitted or wove a cushion from British wool as a personal welcome gift for participating athletes, in their case members of the GB Sailing or Rowing Teams at London 2012.
Michelle McLean, one of the craft artists said: "I heard about the Prince's project at the beginning of the year and thought it was a great idea, and when I told the group they all wanted to be involved. We are all so proud that our oldest member, who chose to weave her cushion on one of our two table looms, provided inspiration to a London 2012 gold medal winner."