Return of craft fair to Bishop's Castle

With the entire of last year's craft fair calendar wiped out due to the pandemic, a county town hall saw scores of visitors eager to get a look at the returning event.

The Craft Market at Bishops Castle Town Hall. Sisters Chris Roberts and Rita Preston with their work.
The Craft Market at Bishops Castle Town Hall. Sisters Chris Roberts and Rita Preston with their work.

Bishop's Castle Town Hall normally hosts three craft fairs a year – one in spring, one in autumn, and another for Christmas.

Owing to the impact of the pandemic all three of the 2020 events were cancelled.

Now a fair has been held for the first time since 2019. There were 15 stallholders on the bill, with the organisers delighted to be able to get back to some kind of normality.

Sue Salisbury, town hall manager, said that the events have been key in the past for money to keep the town hall going, and for local crafters – who have faced a prolonged period without public fairs where they can show off their talents.

She said: "We normally run three a year, in spring, autumn and Christmas, but they were all cancelled last year."

She added: "The town hall is run as a charitable trust so any events we put on here, the money from the event keeps the town hall going."

Visitors

There was a wide variety on offer for those attending, including jewellery, scarves, felt goods, wooden cheese and chopping boards, knitted items, ceramics and musical instruments.

Mrs Salisbury said there had been a steady flow of visitors, with people eager to get out and enjoy one of the first events in the town since lockdown restrictions started to ease.

She said: "I think they have been very much missed, mostly by our stall holders, our lovely craft people who come and the staff as well – and of course it is lovely for the town to be back.

"It is putting some life back into the building and it is lovely to see people in the town, coming in here and have a lovely atmosphere.

"People are really pleased there is something on in the town."

She added: "We would not have imagined having a year off. I think that was a shock for everyone and we certainly didn't think we would not be having them for such a long time."

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