Talks, Workshops, Demos

Courtesy of ‘Yorkshire Ancestors’, Bishop Blaize’s Day Procession, 1814

We are already taking bookings for talks and workshops in 2019 and next year’s Diary for Talks is filling up nicely, although at the time of writing, we still have slots left.  We also have some gaps later in 2018, and so, this year, are happy to be fill in guest speakers, at the drop of a hat, if your Group’s speaker has dropped out at the last minute – just email us.

We have presented talks or done Living History all over the UK since 1980, when Pen was involved in the UK’s first ever Living History project. Most recently, we have talked  across Yorkshire, as well as in Scotland, Northumbria, Cumbria, and Lincolnshire and are happy to travel to Guilds, Women’s Institutes, Townswomen’s Guilds, Local and Family History Societies, all over the UK.  We can be Vikings, Anglo Saxons, medieval folk, Tudors, 1640s’ people or Luddites/Georgian.  Just ask which period you want!


We probably offer more textile talks than anyone we know of, on the circuit. We are also happy to tailor something to your specific town, city or area, if you enquire.


Here’s what Durham Guild thought of our talk:


A Date with a Great Wheel!


We also turn up the wool shows across the North of England, to demonstrate great wheel and other spinning and weaving crafts – often turning up in our 1811-ish ‘Luddite’ kit. If you’d like to book us to demo, do get in touch. If we can help you – we will.


Our talks are lively, interactive and very show-and-tell. Talks/workshops include:

  • Their Dark Materials – 18thC and 19thC Textile-related Yorkshire Tales of Murder & Mayhem, Prisons, Workhouses, and Charity Schools – spinning and knitting history in this one, based on Pen’s upcoming book;
  • Bronte textiles – all things Bronte, knitting and early 19thC fashion!
  • Yorkshire Textile History, Romans – Victorians  (we cover wool, flax, dyes, teasels, changing technologies)
  • Portuguese Knitting – hands-on how to
  • Inside the Medieval Woolhouse – Spinning, and Weaving in Medieval Monasteries;
  • Yorkshire Ganseys – inland and coastal
  • History of Handspinning – from Spindle to Spinning Jenny
  • Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales
  • Nalbinding (“Viking Knitting”) History, and how-to
  • Viking/Anglo Saxon Textile Arts – includes braid weaving, vertical loom weaving, natural dyeing, spinning, nalbinding
  • Great Wheel Spinning and the English Longdraw
  • The Women’s Land Army – Knitting and Life in World War 2




We offer one to one tuition offered in your own home or at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming on a date and at a time to suit you,  in:


  •  handspinning, including Great Wheel and English longdraw,any type of saxony wheel, or hand-spindles
  • Portuguese Knitting,
  • nalbinding
  • inkle braid weaving
  • natural dyeing
  • gansey design and knitting

Pen is a qualified teacher (University of Birmingham) and a certified workshop enabler (University of Northern Colorado), so you can be confident you will be learning with a professional teacher who can find your personal learning style, and teach accordingly.  David is a qualified Teaching Assistant (York College) and professional Historical Interpreter with many years’ experience.  Both are experienced working with children and adults with Special Needs.

Email for more info, if you’re interested in one of our talks ,one to one tuition or workshops. We are also happy to run workshops for guilds and groups.


This year’s events COMING SOON.  It’s our busiest and most exciting year yet – so keep em peeled.


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