I do lots of craft fairs, I mean lots and lots and lots! During the summer (well from Good Friday – Easter) through to the end of September I can be found every Friday standing underneath my Gazebo down by the canal in Bude in Cornwall come rain, shine or wind (sometimes all 3 in one day!) at the Bude Farmers’ and Craft market. At this time of year it is the festive fairs and markets (far too cold and sometimes VERY windy to be down by the canal every week although we do a Bude Farmers’ market late night shopping festive event (next Friday and I am crossing my fingers that the weather forecast changes!).
Some markets that I do can be great, some quiet. Sometimes the ones where you think you will have a quiet day or few hours turn out to shock you and the ones where you think you will be busy will disappoint, infact there are always surprises and you just can’t tell what will happen on a day, maybe that is part of the fun of it! One of the reasons I do markets though is the social side of things, catching up with stall holders you only see once a year (for the festive markets) or having a chance for a good natter with your friends at the regular ones.
So yesterday I was booked for a fair at Bude to be held in the Castle grounds (it’s not a real castle really, but was once the home of the famous Victorian Inventor, Sir Goldsworthy Gurney). For stall holders there was the option either to have a table in the Castle itself; in a marquee on the lawn; or bring their own gazebo. Being a hardy lot us Bude Farmers’ market crowd, two of us decided to take our gazebos and just hope that the weather was kind to us. These things are heavy, very heavy, but they need to be so that they don’t take off over the Atlantic! We also have two tables (also very heavy), associated display materials and of course stock. I have to confess that at 8am yesterday whilst fighting with my gazebo who had thought it was going to have a nice hibernate in the garage over winter and didn’t want to play, I did think, I really should have gone for one of the other options! But after a couple of hours (OK I admit some of this was taken up with chatter 😉 ), we (my friend who makes beautiful sea glass jewellery and sun catches, and I) were ready to go.
Our ‘pitch’ was next to the marquee and faced the castle. To our right were 3 gazebos for the entertainment, choir (local community one and just brilliant), brass band (brilliant) and first of all the local town band who are also pretty good. Closer to the Castle about midday there was a display by the local dance school which sadly I missed as by that point I couldn’t actually see the Castle. You might wonder why? Was it raining so hard? No the sun shone in all it’s glory (almost hot at times). Was it foggy? No, as I say bright sunshine. Wrong glasses? No! The reason I couldn’t see the Castle was that the place was heaving, absolutely heaving with people! There were stalls selling lovely local food with long long queues, it was amazing, I have never seen anything like it at a local Christmas Market event (have seen it like this at a much bigger market, but never seen the kind of support that the people of Bude and local villages gave to us stall holders). I have been to this event before and it has been good, but yesterday was (as they say) ‘something else’. This year it was mostly organised by a lovely local lady who has organised some other great events this year and seems to have a knack for getting the people to come along.
It really was a lovely day. Great weather, great entertainment, great organisation, great friends (nice to catch up with so many people), great atmosphere and just a wonderful day all round. A really amazing day out.
So today is a day for a bit of peace and quiet (and sorting a commission for Friday). Tomorrow I shall be back at it, decorating the studio/workshop I share down on the wharf in Bude and then the rest of the week making sure I have enough to put on my table this coming Friday when we shall be doing it all again. I am not complaining but boy am I looking forward to January for a rest 🙂
Thank you to the organisers for yesterday and thank you to all the people who made it such a fun day. Looking forward to next year 🙂