Aylsham knitters make 500-plus tiny jumpers for ‘fish and chip’ babies

More than 500 African 'fish and chip' babies will be swapping newsprint wrappings for woollen jumpers this spring, thanks to the efforts of scores of north Norfolk knitters.

Customers, members and friends of Aylsham Country Market have been busy with their needles since Christmas after the market's craft section was asked to make little jumpers for newborns who were said to be leaving hospital with only newspaper to keep them warm, earning them the name 'fish and chip babies.'

The initial target of 100 jumpers was smashed more than fivefold as word got around, according to spokesman Jean Hinchliffe.

'It just snowballed - it's been amazing,' said Mrs Hinchliffe who estimates that some 50 women took up the challenge, with some individuals knitting dozens for the cause.

The colourful woollies were on display at this morning's weekly Country Market in Aylsham Town Hall and will now be dispatched to Uganda.

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Country Market organisers have now asked supporters to lay their needles aside as they cannot cope with any further contributions.

Debra Kidd, Aylsham Country Market manager, said she had been delighted with the support shown. She added: 'To knit over 500 jumpers in so short a space of time is quite an achievement and to know they are going to such a good cause gives us all a sense of a job well done.'

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