|Popular weaver laid to rest
By DOUG WATLING
For The Daily Gleaner
Published Saturday January 5th, 2008
Appeared on page A5
Hundreds of friends, family and admirers gathered at the Mill Cove
Church of God on Friday afternoon to celebrate the life of Enid
The gathering was a fitting testament to the admired weaver who had
made tartans at The Loomcrofters in Gagetown since 1941.
Inch wove tartans for Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, and was
widely regarded as the last of a generation of weavers using manual
looms to weave their magic.
For Inch, weaving an afghan was a three-day process, two of which
were spent setting up the loom.
Inch and Patricia Jenkins, the original owner of The Loomcrofters,
the first New Brunswick tartan, which Jenkins designed in 1959.
Jenkins died in 1985 and Inch became The Loomcrofters' sole weaver.
The business has remained a mecca for visitors from far and wide
seeking authentic, hand-woven tartans.
Inch wove tartans only, and was a much loved and revered member of
Gagetown's artisan community. Even though she was originally from
New Jerusalem, she had deep roots in the village.
Each spring, Inch wove a navy blue and black tartan for Gagetown
School, whose playground is adjacent to The Loomcrofters. Graduating
students received ties in the registered school tartan, all of which
were woven by Inch.
"It was always special to think of Enid watching the children
growing up, then weaving those ties," said Gagetown School teacher
Judy Anne Breen. "The students took great pride in wearing them for
years to come."
Inch was also an avid birder. She organized local bird counts and
kept detailed journals of her birdwatching activities for more than
"The diaries should become a provincial treasure," said Gagetown
resident Janet Ratliffe.
"Enid was the inspiration for A Celebration of Birds and the person
to call about sightings. Birds were one of the few things that could
tear her away from her weaving."
Inch was a modest person who avoided publicity and preferred to do
what she loved best, according to friends. She spent her summers
weaving tartans and receiving visitors at The Loomcrofters' historic
studio, then moved inside the house at Roseneath to fill outstanding
orders during the winter.
"Enid once said to me, 'I'll be working here as long as I'm able,' "
said Gagetown potter Maja Padrov.
" 'I love every board of this building.' "