STROUD legend and knitter-natter enthusiast Edna Powell is hanging up the needles and yarn after more than a decade.
Edna hopes to continue working at Tesco, where she has worked for almost 20 years, but has decided it’s time to start doing a little less.
She told the SNJ: “I’m 75 and I need to stop acting like I’m 55.
“I’m now looking forward to retiring and thank all my customers, friends and knitter-natter group for all their support over the years in my wool and sewing machine shop venture and I look forward to them still about around the town.
“I’ve just come back from a lovely time in Canada with my family and friends for my 75th birthday.
Edna has run Cotswold Sewing Machines in Lansdown, Stroud, for the past 11 years, but she has had several jobs in the Stroud area since moving down from her family home in Coventry.
This began with work at Brimscombe Village Shop in 1973, followed by a job at a home-help service, as a chef at Michael Morpurgo’s Farms for City Children and work in a hotdog van from a layby in Thrupp.
She comes from a family of farmers, a trade which her husband Philip continued.
This passion was continued through her work with Stroud Country Show.
Edna is one of three siblings, a brother Graham and sister Pauline, all raised by her parents Gladys and Sam.
The couple started their journey towards the Five Valleys with a move to Pontypool so that Philip could continue farming before moving to Gloucestershire.
They had four children, Michaela, Louise, Anthony and Anne-Marie, who went to Selwyn School in Gloucester.
Edna’s passion for knitting stepped up a notch when she took a course in upholstery and furnishing at Cheltenham Technical College.
This led to teaching her own classes at Thomas Keble and Stroud Technical College – now SGS.
She said: “I’ve knitted and sewed since I was a child, in those days we used to sew our own clothes.”
Edna passed these skills on further through work with the Youth Training Scheme (YTS) for lower ability children under the National Children’s Home (NCH) programme.
In 1999 Edna began working at Tesco in Stratford Road, Stroud, and remains keen to hold onto the job.
She also hopes that the person who takes over her shop will keep it as sewing outlet.
In 2006 she opened up the Cotswold Sewing Machines in Lansdown, she said: “My shining memory has been having wonderful neighbours such as Highlight Windows, Sew and Sew, Docs to Docs, the Stroud News and Journal and Paul Hervey-brooks.”
Cotswold Sewing Machines will close its doors on Saturday, May 27.