Group run

Star Snip Enterprise

7 runners ran 5km to help the Growing works in Huddersfield.

  • Saul Muldoon
  • Kati Law
  • Ben Godfrey
  • MegD
  • Zena Whalley
  • Wendy Redmile
  • David Bilton
Tuesday, 26th of November 2019
Led by Saul Muldoon

It was certainly a stellar performance from last night’s Huddersfield GoodGym crew. Seven superstars met at Lockwood Park to run the 3K or so to Paddock Village Hall, where we would be making willow stars for local community organisation Growing works.

It has to be said the run was damp, not as wet as some we’ve done but definitely damp. The thought of a nice, dry indoor task on this dark, misty November night certainly spurred us on as we ran through Lockwood, crossed the canal and ascended the thousand “steps of doom” into Paddock itself. Arriving at the Village Hall, Growing works volunteer Byron was already there and set up with materials aplenty for this crafting task.

In fact there wasn’t just one task for GoodGym to do, Growing works had pulled out all the stops to provide 3 different craft activities to keep us busy. Firstly we were creating willow stars which Growing works sell as Christmas decorations in the run up to the festive period, second there was a job applying stickers to paper bags and the final, somewhat messier activity involved stuffing a mix of coconut oil and seeds into pine cones to produce 100% organic bird feeders. So three fun jobs, a nice warm village hall and some cracking people to chat to whilst we laboured, GoodGym doesn’t get much better than this!

Willow star making had been one of our favourite tasks in 2018 and a number of veterans from that session returned for another go in 2019. Following a swift demonstration from Byron, Kati Law, Ben Godfrey and myself were soon bending and weaving willow again into rustic looking star shapes. Essentially the technique involves bending a length of soaked willow, weaving it into a star shape and then tying off and snipping the end with a pair of scissors.

My craft skills have always been negligible to say the least and struggled last time, but interestingly on this occasion I picked up the technique straight away and was soon churning out some superb stars from the long lengths of willow wood. After a little of practice, Ben and Katie were soon up to speed too, as were first time willow weavers Meg Deacon and Wendy Redmile.

David Bilton was definite about his choice of task and was soon stuck into the huge pile of brown paper bags, applying Growing works stickers to them. Meanwhile Zena Whalley opted for the messy choice and was busy shoving seeds and oil into pine cones, in an effort to provide our garden birds with a high calorie snack during the winter months. To be fair Zena also tried her had at willow stars too. Following some expert tuition from a master craftsman about the importance of the the essential “bottom bend” technique she also produced some very acceptable results.

And whilst we worked we chatted, laughed, chatted some more and laughed some more, this was certainly a very social task. Once again this year, through a feat of good planning or perhaps good fortune, Paddock Philharmonia were practising in the adjacent hall, providing an orchestral accompaniment to our hard labours.

An hour of production or so later we had definitely increased Growing works stock of stars, branded many hundred bags and produced a few pine cone feeders, all of which Growing works can sell at their various events to be held over the forthcoming festive period. Reluctantly we bade Byron farewell and set forth back out into the damp for our return trip to Lockwood.

Thanks to all last night’s GoodGym superstars, you were simply sensational. I’m already looking forward to next year’s star crafting session.

Report written by Saul Muldoon

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