The Bill Partridge Archive
This section features a number of articles researched and written by local knitting industry historian, Bill Partridge.
Bill was born in 1919 in Nuneaton. His mother's family were handframe silk ribbon weavers. At sixteen he joined Atkins Brothers of Hinckley. Apart from a period of war service with the Durham Light Infantry, his entire career was with Atkins where, as well as managing a modern hosiery plant, he learnt the craft of framework knitting and restored what is thought to be one of the oldest surviving knitting frames. Over the years, Bill has assembled and documented what is almost certainly the largest collection of hosiery in private hands, an interest inspired by the thought that future generations, unlike Felkin, the industry's foremost chronicler, should have the benefit of a systematic collection representing the changes in hosiery technology over the past two hundred years.
Hosiers with goods to sell would travel the country on horseback and continue their journey until all goods were sold.Find out more
A list of companies, carrier and pick-up destinations in and related to Hinckley.Find out more
G. W.Woodward, GW to his drivers, started in business in the late 1920's, with two flat lorries from a small wooden garage in High Street, Barwell. There was a daily service to London and Manchester.Find out more
One local carrier operated a 3 day-a-week service between Hinckley and Leicester, and a 2 day-a-week service to Nuneaton, using a 2-horse pole dray.Find out more
In the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum are a pair of Romano-Egyptian socks. These socks were found in the burial grounds of ancient Oxyrhynchus, a Greek monastic centre on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. It is thought that the socks were made about 1500 years ago.Find out more
To watch a length of yarn being converted into a piece of fabric by the manipulation of two, three or four knitting needles is to watch a very practical application of human ingenuity.Find out more
In the year 1589 a man studied the way that a hand-knitter converted yarn into fabric for stockings, using knitting needles.Find out more
Throughout the Spring and Summer of 1939 the British public became ever more certain that war was inevitable.Find out more
When Queen Elizabeth I made a state visit to Norwich in 1579 children appeared before her and some were spinning worsted yarn and some knitting that yarn into stockings on knitting needles.Find out more
This is the story of Joshua Thomas Clarke born in Hinckley, Leicestershire in the year 1813.Find out more
Accounts of the Rev. William Lee's invention of the hand knitting frame in 1569 leave many questions unanswered and ripe for speculation.Find out more
"The first thing a man needs after food is clothing"Find out more