My sister Helen and her family are visiting this weekend. Yesterday we all went to New Lanark (I will seize any opportunity to go to New Lanark!) Helen and I hail from Rochdale, and I think she is as proud as I am to have grown up in the birthplace of international co-operation. There are important links between New Lanark and Rochdale — because of the textile industry, obviously, but also because both places are associated with the pioneering nineteenth-century movements that sought to improve the livelihoods and education of working people.


It was interesting to see that the steam powered machinery at New Lanark comes from Rochdale too.


As well as exploring the history of Utopian Socialism (my kind of day out), there are many other things to enjoy about New Lanark. For example, the wonderful riverside walks by the picturesque Falls of Clyde . . .


. . . it is a great place for kids . . .


. . . and then there is wool . . .






As will be evident from these pictures, my sister is also a knitter of the avid and excitable variety, and I am proud to report that my ten year old niece, Robyn, knits too. While Helen treated herself to the gorgeous heathery yarn (shown above), Robyn was able to buy a kit to knit herself a Harry Potter sweater (just like the one that Mrs Weasley knits for Ron). Robyn will soon be a Rochdale knitting pioneer!

We had a grand day out.