Popular weaver laid to rest  By
Popular weaver laid to rest

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 Inch.

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, wove
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 40 years.

"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.' "