“Nearly 80 years after the pattern was typed, we now have the socks in our possession and it’s such a fascinating, impressively stylish creation” – Lesley is stunned to find a wartime knitting design buried among a box of donations

A wartime knitting pattern buried in a box of charity shop donations has led to a stylish creation in Norfolk.

The design, for a pair of men’s socks, was discovered by volunteer Lesley Barrett during one of her days helping at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) store in Plumstead Road, Norwich.

It was typed on a single piece of paper and dated 12th February 1945.

By a stroke of fortune, Lesley has a keen interest as a knitter herself and took it to her ‘knit and natter’ group in Thorpe St Andrew.

Friend Janet Bunce, a well-respected member of the group known for her excellent skills, then took on the challenge of knitting the socks and bringing the design to life.

“I was so pleased but stunned to find the pattern,” said Lesley.

“It was loose amid a box of donations and clearly a very fragile piece of paper.

“I couldn’t believe it and the date caught my eye immediately because it was my mother’s birthday.

“It was clearly legible and, as a knitter myself, I couldn’t wait to share it with my friends at the group.

“One of them was keen to create the socks, although she had a real mission to find the yarns she needed. It became a bit of a hunt around the wool shops of Norfolk!

“However, she got there in the end and the finished product is amazing.

“Nearly 80 years after the pattern was typed, we now have the socks in our possession and it’s such a fascinating, impressively stylish creation.

“It’s sad to think that the knitting skills many people would have had back then are diminishing.”

Lesley has been volunteering for five and half years.

To find out more about joining the team at Plumstead Road, call in for a chat, email shop manager Bettina McCracken via bettina.mcCracken@each.org.uk or call 01603 438105.

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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