Livingstone Textiles was established in Bridport in 1971 by Arthur Lloyd and his son John. Taking its name from Livingstone Mill in Burnley, the Lloyds former employer, the business grew into a thriving mail order business. Due to John and wife Cheryl’s impending retirement in 2010 it looked as though Bridport and the West Country were going to lose the fabulous resource of Livingstone Textiles.
Back from the Brink
Livingstone was saved at the eleventh hour by local husband and wife team Tom Baldry and Megan Standage. Tom has run a furniture restoration and upholstery business, English Home Antiques, in Bridport since 1993 and took the decision to rescue Livingstone Textiles from closure. Tom and Meg took over in October 2010 and are taking the business from strength to strength.
Livingstone Textiles has an ever expanding team for the new era. Building on the expertise of 40 years trading, what all the team share is a passion for fabric and a love of everything hand made. We aim to provide old fashioned customer service and are happy to talk to you about your requirements.
Tom Baldry – Tom has lived in Bridport since his parents moved here during his childhood. With a background in furniture restoration and upholstery, Tom’s passion is furnishing fabrics. He is thriving in his established role as a draper and enjoys listening to the customers tell about just how many other things they do with the fabric he supplies.
Megan Standage – Meg loves sewing, crafting and endlessly produces creative items to display in the shop. You will find her at Livingstone Textiles on a Saturday, having a change of scene from her regular job. Look out for some of her creations on Miss Haversham at the top of the stairway.
Madeline Warren – Madeline has been part of the Livingstone Textiles team for over twenty-five years. Providing expertise and continuity from the past to the future, Madeline is a knowledgeable and talented seamstress who provides our hand made to measure service. Super efficient and knowledgeable, if you don’t know something, you ask Madeline!
Anne Orchard – Anne learned to sew at her mother’s knee, and has knitted both as a hobby and for practical purposes since she was five years old. Anne is mainly to be found in the office running the day to day admin of the business but enjoys a stint in the shop where her main problem is how not to spend all her earnings on the fabulous goodies in the shop – as well as how to find the time for all the new projects that result.
Laura Cox – Laura has a soft furnishing and crafts background and has been making and demonstrating for over twenty years at local shows. She particularly enjoys spinning and dying as well as knitting and sewing and is also one of our curtain and blind makers. She has an eye for colour and interior design and can advise you on both dressmaking and soft furnishing projects.
Sophie Poole-Strode – Sophie is Dorset born and bred and is another keen knitter who has recently taught herself to cable. She has tried her hand at a bit of craft sewing and also some dressmaking and is very keen to add more skills to her repertoire. Feel free to pop in and tell her about your latest project so she can share it on our Facebook page for everyone to admire.
Carolyn Brightwater – Carolyn enjoys learning lots of new things and is always interested in new ideas and concepts. She too is a whizz on the computer and social media as well as being a keen sewer. Carolyn has a particular interest in dressmaking and enjoys pattern cutting and creating clothes in her own individual style. She too has succumbed to the delicious fabrics and is great at creating an inspiring shopping environment for the customers enjoy.
With business doing well, in late summer 2016, Tom decided to open a second branch of Livingstone Textiles in the beautiful but now redundant Somerset Museum building, just opposite The Octagon Theatre. He appointed Nicky Cooke as the manager and between them they recruited a great team to launch this new venture for Livingstones.
Nicky Cooke – The Manager at Livingstone Textiles Yeovil, Nicky is a busy farmers wife with a big interest in customer service and sewing. She has created some gorgeous and country inspired mounted stag heads, made from some of the fabrics in the Yeovil store and you can see her creations all around the shop. Nicky also enjoys making lampshades from the shop fabrics and working cross stitch in her spare (?!) time at home.
Tracey Whatley – is our queen of haberdashery at Yeovil and keeps a close eye on any new products she thinks we’d like as well as keeping the wool department tip top and sparkling with colour. As most crafters will know, good cake sits very well with a sewing or knitting project and Tracey enjoys baking cakes to share in Yeovil, her speciality being Pavlova, no wonder they’re always so cheerful in the shop!
Anita Bell – Anita is our resident tutor in all things knitting and sewing. She runs a Knit & Natter group in the upstairs room every Wednesday and Saturday. A patient teacher, she also runs courses on patchwork and piecing at the Yeovil shop and is an expert on sewing machines if you need help and advice in this field. Anita also made the exquisite knitted bunting hanging up in the Yeovil store.
You may also meet one of our Saturday girls Rosa (in Bridport) and Eleanor (in Yeovil) as well as Bethan Baldry and Maisie Harley when they are home from University and in Bridport.