International textile festival gives English town a boost
Stroud has a proud textile heritage. In its heyday, the town was bursting at the seams with mills churning out cloth.
By the mid 19th century, there were more than 1,000 looms at work in what was known as the Golden Valley. Stroud Scarlet, a beautiful red woollen fabric, graced the backs of the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Family, and local manufacturers were world-renowned. Today Stroud still boasts a mill that makes cloth for snooker tables and championship tennis balls.
It is this former global reputation that Lizzi is seeking to build on. Born in Stroud, Lizzi Walton trained in fine art at Winchester and has spent much of her life working in arts administration.
This year the festival is an exciting mix of exhibitions, talks and workshops, with artists coming from as far afield as Holland, France and Japan to take part.
The festival pulls in 15,000 visitors to the small market town during the month
Established world-class makers rub shoulders with emerging talent, and quirky fringe events provide opportunities for everyone to get involved.
"The local economy is already benefiting from hosting an international festival, and visitor numbers have grown year-on-year, with 65% of people coming from outside of the county.
"Bed and breakfasts in the town this month are full. The craft sector brings in cash and helps people think outside of the box, both important commodities - especially today."
ARTICLE COURTESY OF BBC NEWS
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We live in the northern half of the Cotswolds near Chipping Norton, and have been here for 25 years - we love it, and we hope you do too!