THE community of Fordingbridge has stepped up to the challenge to knit socks for a commemoration project to mark the end of the First World War.

An appeal was launched by Fordingbridge Museum in March urging people to knit socks to a First World War design. And the museum says the appeal has been extremely successful.

Museum manager Philippa Duckworth said: “In the First World War people in Fordingbridge did their bit for the troops by knitting them woollen garments. Some of the socks were knitted on knitting machines but many were produced by hand to a pattern devised by Lord Kitchener. The items they and hundreds of others all over the country produced were crucial to the comfort and wellbeing of the troops and made a significant difference to the progress of the war.

“We thought that as part of our commemoration of the end of the Great War next year it would be wonderful if we could display some socks knitted to Lord Kitchener’s pattern.

“We had a marvellous response to our appeal for knitters both locally and from all over the British Isles but also from a group of knitters in Canada who have produced nine pairs of socks for us. We anticipate that we will end up with at least 30 pairs of socks that will be donated to appropriate charities after they have been used in our display.”

The museum is presenting a talk, Knitting for Victory, about the vital role hand knitted garments played in The Great War at 7pm on Friday, September 22 at Avonway Community Centre in Fordingbridge.

Katharine Puttick, the organiser of the event, said: “We have been amazingly lucky to be able to get Joyce Meader, who is an acknowledged expert on the subject, to come and give the talk. She is not only a published author on the topic but is a charismatic speaker so we are looking forward to an amusing and informative evening.”

Tickets include light refreshments and are £8 and available from Fordingbridge Bookshop or the museum and the bar will be open during the evening.