Charity knitter Kitty Weston, who worked at Belper's East Mill for 25 years, dies at 87
A FORMER Belper mill worker who raised thousands of pounds for charity through knitting has died, aged 87.
Kitty Weston worked in the town's East Mill for 25 years, after starting work there at the age of 34.
She once told the Derby Telegraph: "It was my first proper job and I remember being so nervous on my first day.
"I was given a job winding cotton from one bobbin to another. It was a terrible job and I hated it but, after a while, I was moved on and began to really enjoy the work.
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In the early 1990s, Mrs Weston, of Becksitch Lane, Belper, was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Queen's garden party.
And, in 2009, she was asked to speak about her life at the mill for a project aimed at recapturing the days when the mill was open and active.
Called Threads, the project was organised by Belper's Fleet Arts organisation.
About 20 former mill workers, including Mrs Weston, were invited to the Derwent Valley Visitors' Centre, in the town's North Mill, to tell their tales of work.
Her husband Albert, known as Laurie, died in October 2003. The couple did not have any children.
In 2010, she oversaw the opening of the Autumn Club, a meeting place which gives elderly residents a chance to get together in Belper.
Soon after, Mrs Weston, with other members, made a woollen quilt, about the size of a double bed, which was raffled off to raise money for the running of the club.
It was one of several knitting projects she organised over the years which saw her raise thousands of pounds for both Cancer Research UK and Belper's Babington Hospital.
At the end of last year, Mrs Weston, who lives off Derby Road, Belper, supported the Derby Telegraph's Save a Life campaign, in which the paper teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant to find 500 new donors in Derbyshire.
She had suffered from chronic anaemia – a condition characterised by low levels of red blood cells – for about five years.
It meant she needed blood transfusions sometimes as often as every three weeks.
She died on Saturday. The funeral arrangements have not yet been confirmed.