My mice have been sold until now, along with other hand made crafts, in a shop called Fatsheep – http://www.fatsheep.co.uk/ – on the green in Reeth in Swaledale, a village that has featured on ITV’s series The Dales.
The Tour de France will pass through Reeth next summer and those who work in the tourism industry, including the proprietor of Fatsheep, have been gearing up for the many visitors that this great event will bring.
The shop sells ‘anything made in the Yorkshire Dales’ and works with many local craftspeople. They supply everything in the shop from wood turned bowls to woven hats and natural soaps.
Trading Standards visited the shop anonymously last week and bought the craft items. They have been contacting makers this week, telling them that their work is illegal and not to be sold.
My mice – like the ones in the picture – are, apparently, ‘dangerous’ – because they are filled with washed sheep’s wool, have bead eyes and the seams are sewn by hand. Terrifying!
The problem seems to be that hand crafted items are not machine made, uniform and heavily tested for safety. Rather, they are unique, beautiful hand crafts made by small scale craftspeople, which don’t fit the legal tick boxes.
Around the country, talented crafters are giving up their work because they are unable to sell what they make. Often this is because of this kind of heavy handed approach to the law by Trading Standards.
Beware of the dangerous mice….