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Knitting queen unveils latest creation and reveals top tips for a productive lockdown

PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:30 20 May 2020

Knitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Knitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

The doctors and nurses are busy on their rounds and the patients are literally pinned to their beds.

Knitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKnitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The clinics are prepped and ready for the sick and injured, needles on hand for any procedures.

But all this mini medical action is not taking place at London’s Nightingale Hospital, it is spread out in a bungalow bedroom in Caister.

Reporters from across the country have descended on Margaret Seaman’s neat front garden, standing on the sun-trap bench to peer at her Lilliputian lockdown creation - dubbed Knittingale Hospital - and speak to her through the window.

The 91-year-old is stunned but grateful for the attention, but only if it raises money for the good causes close to her heart.

Knitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKnitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I prefer to stay in the background,” she confesses, while rounding on a national newspaper for not putting in the Just Giving fundraising link which was “the whole point”.

Having already amazed her home county with her knitted versions of Great Yarmouth, and Sandringham House, the hospital with its fiddly beds and numerous people has been her biggest challenge to date.

Working out all the scale was a major headache, she said, her mind constantly buzzing with ways of how to do this or that, or solve a knitting conundrum.

She created her first stitch on April 1 and has been working on it everyday for up to 12 hours since.

Knitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKnitter Margaret Seaman, 91, with her knitted London Nightingale Hospital, complete with wards, doctors and nurses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In an ironic role reversal her daughter Tricia Wilson, 72, said she was now the one spotting the sliver of light under her mother’s bedroom door at 1am and telling her to go to bed.

“It is a bit of an obsession, it never stops,” Mrs Seaman said, even though her knitting fingers lock painfully and she has to wear wrist splints at night.

Having not been out of the house for 10 weeks, knitting had been her saviour during lockdown, she said.

The latest model also meant branching out into crafting, building and making beds, which often went wrong first time and had to be made again.

The children's ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe children's ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And while most of us are not going to achieve anything on the scale of Knittingale during our lockdowns she did have one piece of boredom-busting advice: “Find a hobby. Find something to do.

“Even if you are only reading. If you just sit in a chair and look out of the window you are going to be bored to tears.”

Mrs Seaman is raising money for Norfolk’s three hospitals and is reckoned to have raised tens of thousands over the years through her creations, starting with a garden pond.

To donate find her Just Giving page or click the link here.

One of the wards in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOne of the wards in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

You may also want to watch:

The children's ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe children's ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA ward in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Margaret Seaman's favourite knitted character, the doctor in the intensive care ward in her London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMargaret Seaman's favourite knitted character, the doctor in the intensive care ward in her London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The café in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe café in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A patient pushing her drip apparatus in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA patient pushing her drip apparatus in Margaret Seaman's knitted London Nightingale Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


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