Exploring our Family and Business History
The months keep flying by in the busyness of work and family and life, and it feels like such a long time ago that we were enjoying spending time with family on the other side of the world.
We have been reflecting on our trip to Germany since receiving an exciting parcel in the mail last week. Our dear friends/family members/hosts in Thalheim sent us copies of two publications from their local area which featured stories about our visit and the connections to the stocking industry.
On our first day in Thalheim, we were shown through the centre of the village and taken to the impressive town hall for an official welcome from the mayor, Nico Dittmann.
The town hall was built in 1906 and features symbolic stained-glass windows representing the various industries and individuals that shaped the town Thalheim from its foundation until that time. The “Strumpfwirkerei” (stocking industry) features prominently in these windows, such was its importance over many years and for so many families of the region.
Andrew and Nico exchanged gifts: a pair of local merino socks from Crookwell for the mayor, and a flag of Thalheim for the Lindner family. We hope that Nico is finding the socks warm and comfortable now that they are heading into the winter months. We certainly appreciate the flag of the village from which the Lindner family and their sock-making experience came, as well as the warm and friendly welcome we received from Nico and his staff.
Following the meeting with the mayor, we were invited to tour the local historical society’s museum. The volunteers of the Cultural Heritage Association have assembled their vast knowledge of many diverse aspects of the history of Thalheim, along with incredible artefacts, photographs, artworks and models to create this museum display. There was so much to see, I could have stayed there for days, but unfortunately our time was limited. I believe we will need to return soon, as there was so much still to take in.
While at the museum, Andrew and Uwe, our host and Andrew’s distant cousin, were interviewed by a journalist running a story in the local newspaper, Stollberger Zeitung.
Listening to Uwe during the interview and seeing his deep knowledge and passion for the history of the town revealed the fact that not only had we discovered a distant relative with an interest in the Lindner family history, but that he also happens to be the expert on the stocking manufacturers and the sock factory buildings of the town that have existed throughout history.
A little over one year ago, we had a very basic knowledge of the origins of Lindner Socks, and the evolution of sock and stocking manufacturing. Since meeting Uwe and our trip to visit him and his family in Thalheim, we have so much more knowledge and we have only just touched on how much there is yet to learn. It is taking some time to process all of this and to piece it all together in a coherent way.
We cannot express just how grateful we are to Uwe, Utta and their family, as well as so many more wonderful people of Thalheim who took the time to help us discover the place and our place within it. Not only have we learned so much about the past from them, but more importantly, we have found close friendships that will endure well into the future.