Thursday, 21 March 2013

Teaching the local girls in 1896

In my previous post we can see that in the 1896 Arts and Crafts Exhibition there were a number of items exhibited by Mrs Joseph King of what was then called "Lower Birtley, Hand-weaving Industry, Witley, Surrey".  Of the 4 items exhibited, two cloths were listed as being "executed by Clara Pammenter" and one pair of curtains were "executed by Ellen Shenton and Clara Pammenter":

  • exhibit 228 - hand-woven dessert cloth
  • exhibit 235 - hand-woven sideboard or dresser-cloth
  • exhibit 14 & 15 - pair of hand-woven curtains
Looking on the 1901 census, there was only Clara Pammenter in the UK, she was then 19 years old, making her just 14 years old when she made two and a half of the exhibits for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1896.  Clara was living at Shoelands Farm in 1901, this is right next door to Lower Birtley.  Clara was living with her father who was a farmer, and she herself has the profession of parlourmaid (domestic), suggesting that the weaving was either a hobby, or something she no longer practised by 1901.  

1901 census extract
Clara Pammenter living at Shoelands Farm, Birtley

Maude Egerton King is recorded as living at Lower Birtley in 1901 with her 4 year old daughter Katharine and Maude's elderly mother Mary Ann Hine.  They are living with a governess, a parlourmaid, a housemaid, a trained sick maid and a between maid.  The between maid is May Pammenter, aged 14, presumably Clara's younger sister.  Perhaps Clara had previously worked at Lower Birtley and that was how she produced the works in 1896?

extract from 1901 census,
Maude Egerton King living at Lower Birtley, Witley

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