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Great-great-grandmother crafts ‘Knittingale’ hospital to raise funds for NHS

Joe Giddens

By Sam Russell, PA

A great-great-grandmother spent three months knitting a model hospital called Knittingale to raise funds for the NHS.

Margaret Seaman, 91, used 34 balls of wool to make the masterpiece at the bungalow she shares with her 72-year-old daughter Tricia Wilson in Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

She knitted 59 figures to go inside the hospital, including doctors, nurses and patients, and they took her two hours each to craft.

The model also features four wards, an A&E department, X-ray unit, fracture clinic, a cafe, a helicopter landing pad, car park and flower beds.

She set out the completed model at a venue in Norwich on Thursday to see how it looks before it goes on display at a crafts festival next year.

Mrs Seaman has previously made models of the Queen’s Sandringham House and Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile in its heyday.

“I wondered what we could do to help when we went into lockdown and I thought why not knit a hospital that will raise money for three of our local hospitals, one at King’s Lynn, one at Norwich, one at Great Yarmouth,” said Mrs Seaman.

“It was much harder than the bigger things that I’ve done like Sandringham.

“The bigger buildings are easier to do than the small things like beds and little tiny people.

“I don’t plan anything.

“I do it as I go along and it comes into my head.

“It’s nice to see it set up properly.”

She said she wanted to raise money for the NHS to “say thank you for everyone”.

“I’ve always knitted a certain amount but I went years without when I had the children younger, but I started again after I lost my husband,” she added.

“I joined a knitting group and started again and it went from there.”

Mrs Seaman has raised more than £3,600 to be shared between three hospitals in Norfolk.

The model will be displayed at the Norfolk Makers Festival at The Forum in Norwich in February 2021, with a new JustGiving page to be set up to raise further funds for the NHS.

See www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/margaretknitsfornorfolk