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Wingham Wool

The Big Move: Part 2

After the excitement (and stress) of moving the machinery into their new home, the next thing was to make a star on the stock. Our mill and stores hold tonnes of wool at any time, from natural British breeds to our own combed blends. We always knew that this was going to be one of the biggest jobs but we had no idea just how bog…

The first thing was to decide the order in which to take things to the new site. Our most popular range is certainly the 21 Micron Dyed Merinos so it made sense to move those last. At the other end of the scale are our more “fancy” fibres such as yak, cashmere and silks. While popular they tend to sell in smaller quantities due to their higher price, and so we knew that most of these could be moved without affecting sales too much. So as the nights drew in around us in the latter half of December it was time to load up the vans and set off with the first loads.

We made the decision early on to take a more hands approach to moving the stock. Rather than simply packing it all up and loading onto transporter lorries all in one go we chose to instead take a little more time over things and have a bit of a sort-out along the way. The trouble with being in business for 40 years is that all those bits and bobs that get put into corners tend to build up over the decades, and so we’re taking the opportunity to have a bit of clear out. As such we had to go through every bale, sack and box to make sure that it was something that is actually of use to the business, as we didn’t want to transport things to Gloucestershire only for them to be put back into the corners.

The next stage was the Dyed Merinos and some quick calculations were needed to get a scale of the task: 115 shades with an average stock of around 25Kg of each works out at 2.8 tonnes… And that’s just the amount in the stores not counting the live stock! So, with 3 tonnes of fibre to shift we knew it was time to get cracking. Fortunately it was a relatively easy job, as we process all our dyed merino into easy to handle “tube” sacks, each weighing around 10Kg. So, once again it was time to load up the vans and make the drive south.

Of course, once all the stock is at the new site we of course need somewhere for it to go. But we’d thought of that! When our machinery was brought down we also arranged for the racking in our stores to be dismantled and brought down too. This meant that while some of our team were doing the stock move the others were hard at working re-assembling the shelves so that it all had somewhere to go.

Between the two teams it all went off without a hitch and we now have the majority of our fibres in place.