May MacCormick

75, teacher of Sanquhar Knitting and Past President of the Dumfriesshire Federation of Scottish Women’s Institutes

What do you love about Dumfries & Galloway?
I have always enjoyed the picturesque countryside, open spaces and the variety of towns and villages. It feels comfortable and friendly.

What’s the best thing about your home town of Sanquhar?
It’s a friendly and caring community. It’s good to go to out and be sure of having a chat with someone, and to be able to walk in the countryside within minutes of home. There’s a lot of history attached to the town, and we have the honour of having the oldest working post office in the world. There is also a variety of pastimes making the most of the outdoor spaces. The annual Riding of the Marches celebrations bear out the community spirit, when locals, visitors and families ‘come home’ for the festivities.

Great British Life: Sanquhar Gloves in the Duke designSanquhar Gloves in the Duke design (Image: Supplied)

Tell us about your job:
I am a teacher of Sanquhar Knitting and knitter of traditional Sanquhar gloves. My interest in Sanquhar Knitting began in my teens, when my mother taught me how to knit a Sanquhar glove in the Duke pattern. When I came to stay here, I was introduced to the various other traditional designs. I have been teaching the art of the traditional knitting at A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, and during the pandemic lockdown taught via Zoom, which was a learning curve and certainly reached a wider audience.

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met?
Over the years I have met lots of interesting people in many walks of ordinary life. It would be unfair to select any particular person.

What’s your ambition?
My main aim is to pass on the traditional knitting, and at the same time to continue a project I have started by recording all 16 known old traditional patterns.

Great British Life: Sanquhar knittingSanquhar knitting (Image: Supplied)

What do you do to unwind?
My handicrafts, of which Sanquhar Knitting is a part. I also enjoy walking and reading, and occasionally play golf badly.

Where do you recommend for great entertainment in the region?
A’ the Airts Community Arts Centre in Sanquhar runs many varied workshops and classes, hosts exhibitions, shows films, and occasionally has live music and drama performances.

Where do you recommend for a good bite to eat?
The café at A’ the Airts. It is friendly and serves freshly prepared food. Thomas Tosh in Thornhill serves interesting food, and my go-to in Dumfries is the tearoom at Tarff Town and Country.

What would you change about D&G?
As so many people have to travel outwith our area for employment, it would be good to see better transport links and more job opportunities.

Dumfries & Galloway in a single word?