May 17, 2020

Margaret Seaman, Knitted and crocheted miniature scenes

a part of the Great Yarmouth seafront set of miniature scenes
this picture and the next three from the website BBC News

At first glance it is not so visible, but a closer look reveals that all parts of the above miniature scene  -the sky, the sun, the sea, the beach, the pier and the person on it, the beach chairs, the air mattress and the boat- are knitted or crocheted.

This scene is part of a four meter long set of miniature scenes, depicting the recreational facilities along the seafront promenade in Great Yarmouth, England, first exposed in February 2019.

Life an works

This set was created by Margaret Seaman when she was in her late eighties.

Born in April 1929, she married in the 1960s and worked with her husband Fred in his business supplying children's rides and amusements to tourist venues and attractions.

another part of the Great Yarmouth set 

After her husband died in February 2013, Mrs Seaman -who was now 82- went to live with her daughter Patricia Wilson in Great Yarmouth.

Following her daughter's advice she joined a knitting club, run by a local social center, that by selling the knitting also collects money for charity.

It might have been fifty years since Mrs Seaman last used knitting needles, but it soon turned out that knitting for her wasn't just a pastime, but rather a creative challenge. And then a creative challenge that was colored by the wish to raise money for charity.

That turned out to be a realistic enterprise when in late 2014 Mrs Seaman made a replica of her husband's koi pond in the garden of her former home and she by displaying this replica in various places managed to collect about £ 12.000.

one more part of the Great Yarmouth set  

The Great Yarmouth seaside set

The koi pond was still a relatively small project compared to a subsequent project that Mrs Seaman undertook. This became a replica of Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile (also Marine Parade), as it was in the 1970s, a beach side promenade with sea views and all kinds of entertainment and facilities for food and drink.

The replica would become 4 meters long. It includes a variety of scenes, some of which are shown in the images above. Where the koi pond project already took four months of work, the Great Yarmouth project has taken a year of work, and then it has to be noted that Mrs. Seaman is not afraid to spend twelve to fifteen hours a day on her hobby.

Characteristic of Mrs Seaman's work is that she tries to depict the buildings and other items as realistically and faithfully as possible. To this end, she consults photos in magazines and other publications.

the Great Yarmouth set displayed on four tables 
in Mrs Seaman's home 

The set was displayed at a craft exhibition in February 2019 in the Forum in Norwich, a community building with a variety of facilities for the public, such as a library, a tourist information center, facilities for (art) exhibitions, amateur theatrical performances, and so on. The exhibition yielded £ 13,000 for charity.

As the picture above shows, before it was exhibited in the Forum, the set could also be visited in Mrs Seaman's home. 

The Sandringham house project

In July 2019 Mrs Seaman started a new project, a replica of the Sandringham House. Located in the village of the same name, 60 km north west of Norwich. this estate is the favored holiday home of Queen Elizabeth II.

miniature replica of Sandringham House
picture from website JustGiving

The miniature version of this ages old royal estate that Mrs. Seaman worked on for six months,
 is 3 meters long and 2 meters wide.

In this replica Mrs Seaman once more ensures that the dimensions and color scheme of the building correspond as much as possible to reality.

The miniature scene also partly includes the landscaping that surrounds the property, with lawns, trees and a lake, all together a variety of miniature items, all added in knitted or crocheted form. 

this picture and the next one by Forum

The photo above shows in some detail how a tree with green leaves takes shape in a miniature wool version.

And the picture below shows Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip as they appear in the miniature version of their country house (Mrs. Seaman was assisted by a friend in the making of the depictions of persons).

The miniature version of Sandringham House has been exposed at the Forum in Norwich from February 8-23, 2020. It closed just one month before in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2020 the lockdown due to the Corona virus was effected.

The "Knittingale" Hospital

In the United Kingdom the coronavirus pandemic has sparked some specific private actions to raise money for the hospitals of the National Health Service.

Mrs. Seaman is participating by creating a new miniature scene, this time a model of what is called the Knittingale Hospital.

picture by ITV News Anglia

The photo shows a very early version of this miniature. It will include four wards and an x-ray department, but also a coffee corner and who knows what other items are being invented while working. The collected money, also welcome via website JustGiving, will be donated to three hospitals in the region.

The final creation will be presented in the Forum when it is reopened.

* Article (January 2015) in regional journal Great Yarmouth Mercury about the knitted pond
* Article (February 2019) on the website of BBC News about the Great Yarmouth set
* Article (January 2020) in regional journal Eastern Daily Press about the Sandringham House project
* Article (May 2020) on the website of ITV Report about raising money for the National Health Service.
* Video by ITV News (YouTube, February 2019, 1'39") with Margaret Seaman knitting the seaside of Great Yarmouth

* Video by Forum Norwich (YouTube, January 2020, 4'50") with Margaret Seaman knitting "Sandringham"

* Video by ITV News (YouTube, May 13, 2020, 2'28"), with Margaret Seaman knitting the "Knittingale Hospital")

Margaret Seaman
Knitted and crocheted miniature scenes
Great Yarmouth, county Norfolk, region East of England, England, UK
home address is private
miniature scenes can be seen on expositions

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