Honour for 93-year-old whose knitted Sandringham House was seen by the Queen

·3-min read

A 93-year-old who created a knitted version of the Queen’s Sandringham House said she “couldn’t stop shaking” when she learnt she had been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Great-great grandmother Margaret Seaman, from Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk, has raised more than £100,000 for charities in the last seven years by displaying her woolly works.

She spent two years working on her Sandringham model and was knitting for up to 15 hours a day with the aim of fundraising for local hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The finished knitted Sandringham was displayed at the Queen’s Norfolk home, where it was viewed by the monarch who appeared to enjoy seeing it recreated in miniature.

Knitted Sandringham exhibition – Norfolk
Margaret Seaman, 93, of Caister-on-Sea in Norfolk, stands next to her ‘Knitted Sandringham’ (Yui Mok/PA)

The centre-piece, an 18ft-long Sandringham House, featured intricate architecture, chimneys and windows surrounded by knitted trees.

Other landmarks from the Queen’s estate featured, including St Mary Magdalene Church – where the monarchy attend the Christmas Day service, and there were even knitted members of the royal family.

Mrs Seaman previously crafted a model hospital called Knittingale – as Nightingale hospitals were set up around the country – to raise funds for the NHS.

She said she used 34 balls of wool, and knitted 59 figures to go inside the hospital – including doctors, nurses and patients.

Knitted Sandringham exhibition – Norfolk
The knitted Sandringham model includes miniature woollen versions of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on a balcony (Yui Mok/PA)

The model also featured four wards, an A&E department, X-ray unit, fracture clinic, a cafe, a helicopter landing pad, car park and flower beds.

She has also created a knitted version of Great Yarmouth seafront.

Mrs Seaman is to be awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to her local community.

Mrs Seaman said: “It still amazes me that people are so interested in my knitting.

Woollen model Nightingale hospital
Mrs Seaman raised funds for the NHS with her woollen Knittingale Hospital (Joe Giddens/PA)

“I just love a big challenge and I like to keep myself busy.

“I never dreamed it would lead to all this excitement.

“It all started about seven years ago when I started knitting for charity and I decided to knit things that were important to local people and to me.

“Fortunately, the Makers Festival at the Forum (in Norwich) gave me plenty of space.

Knitted Sandringham exhibition – Norfolk
Mrs Seaman said she ‘literally couldn’t stop shaking’ when she heard she was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list (Yui Mok/PA)

“It’s been one adventure after another and when I was invited to display my Knitted Sandringham at the real Sandringham, and I even met the Queen, which was a dream come true, I thought that would be that.

“But when the letter came through the door saying I had been named in the Jubilee Birthday honours I literally couldn’t stop shaking and I lost the power of speech.”

Jayne Evans, of the Norfolk Makers Festival- where Mrs Seaman’s creations have been displayed, said: “Margaret has wowed the crowds at our festival for years now, each time amazing us all with her creativity, vision, dedication and energy.

“She is a role model for both older people and younger generations and has become like a dear grandmother to me.

“Everyone at The Forum is thrilled that she is being awarded this honour.

“It’s well deserved.”

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