A new book telling the story of the Taylor-Woods manufacturing in Fermanagh is being launched on Saturday 31 March at 2.00pm in the Westville Hotel, Enniskillen. It is called ‘Manufacturing Glamour in Fermanagh: The Story of Taylor Woods Hosiery & Lingerie 1946 – 1966’ – compiled by Sarah McHugh with the Taylor-Woods Reminiscence Group.
It may be hard to believe that Fermanagh was once at the forefront of lingerie and hosiery manufacture, but for two decades, in the middle of the last century, the Enniskillen firm of Taylor-Woods produced stockings, and later lingerie, of such quality that they were sought after in the top London stores and in demand worldwide.
The result of an archive of photographs, documents and memories donated to Fermanagh County Museum by former employees, this book has been a labour of love by the Taylor-Woods Reminiscence Group. The publication has been made possible with support from the Association of Friends of Fermanagh County Museum.
The book will be launched by Marion Maxwell, local historian, who has been involved in Taylor-Woods reminiscence and research for many years. Speaking about the forthcoming publication, she said:
“Tapping into a rich vein of recollections, this book records a remarkable story through the reminiscences of many of those who worked there. I commend it to you as history ‘from the bottom up’, the insider story of a work place. In recording their own memories, the intention of all those who have contributed has been to give Taylor-Woods its rightful place in history and to infect you the reader with some of the pride and nostalgia that still surrounds it.”
Sarah McHugh, Manager of Fermanagh County Museum Service, said:
“The launch of this book coincides, almost to the day, with the manufacture of the first ever stocking in the Old Gaol and former County Hall, Enniskillen. The publication has been a pleasure to work on. The story is a fascinating one, a slice of local history alongside French designers, cloak and dagger industrial espionage, beauty contests and shopping frenzies to purchase goods first made in Fermanagh.”
Sinead Reilly, Development Officer of Collections & Exhibitions who organised the ‘Stitch in Time’ exhibition in 2007 said:
“The interest in the exhibition in 2007 was phenomenal and the museum received many donations of Taylor-Woods lingerie, hosiery, magazines, photographs and other paraphernalia from people locally as well as others in France, the US and New Zealand. It is through their generosity that this story can be told.”
The book will retail at £10.00 and will be on sale at the launch. It will be available to purchase at Enniskillen Castle Museums’ gift shop from 2 April.