Tyne & Wear

'Noisy' Cramlington library knitters no longer welcome

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Media captionThe group say their charity work for the NHS is in danger of being undone.

A knitting group said it was no longer allowed to meet at a library because its needles are "dangerous" and its members are too noisy.

The Knit 'n' Natter group met at the library in Cramlington, Northumberland once a week to knit replica anatomical parts for training NHS midwives.

But now the library has moved and the knitters said Northumberland County Council had barred them.

The council said there was not enough room for the large group.

But a spokesman said the women were still welcome if they split into smaller groups.

Since the group began three years ago its 20 to 30 members have knitted thousands of garments for premature and sick babies.

They have also made 1,500 pairs of knitted breasts and are currently knitting wombs for midwives.

'Needles dangerous'

Margaret Derrick, one of the group's founding members, said: "We've been told different stories and different complaints and I don't now know what to believe.

"We've been told knitting needles are dangerous instruments and against health and safety policy. We've also been told that it's because we are too noisy.

Image caption The women cannot afford to hire a meeting place

"We started at the library because the council asked us. As we got bigger, the council was delighted.

"Unfortunately, they've now got a new building and there is no room for us and it is 'bye bye'.

"Everything we knit goes out to help someone somewhere. It's just so sad, we can't afford to hire a room."

Conservative councillor, Wayne Daley of Cramlington North, said the decision was "barmy".

"I think this is a shocking decision - I was taken aback," he said.

"It is unbelievable that the county council can take a group that is successful and doing things for the NHS, and penalise them by throwing them out of what is supposed to be a community library.

"I was told there were health and safety concerns over knitting needles - which is just barmy."

He said the council should find the women a new meeting place.

Mrs Derrick said the knitters did not want to split into smaller groups.

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