Open and shut case

Two years ago, the Leicestershire jersey maker went out of business. Over a century of hosiery and thermals came to an abrupt end; the thirty-odd workers out on their ear, and more jersey-knowledge than you could shake a pair of starched long-johns at consigned to history.

Open and shut case    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

But then, less than a year later, it reopened: workers brought back, machines dusted off and made to work better than ever, and Leicestershire jersey back on the menu. A cheery end, then, to what seemed another dispiriting “local factory closes down” story. Makers come and makers go, but seldom does the same maker come and go and come again. There is therefore palpable relief — memory of lucky-escape fresh — that the factory, and the irreplaceable jersery know-how over its three floors, has another century ahead of it.

Words and pictures from the phoenix-like Leicestershire jersey maker are in the offing. As usual, it is the workers to whom caps should be doffed; a tour of the red-brick factory underbelly — a guide to the trusty hosiery-workhorse that is the RTR Bentley, the apocryphal Pegasus Fully Automatic E-Series Four-Thread Back Latcher, and other contraptions old, new, and retro-fitted — as in-depth as one could reasonably imagine.

Open and shut case    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

And, for some Leicestershire-made-jersey sustenance in the meantime, there are, and will continue to be, for the next month or more, various things to gawp at over in Notes.