Word of mouth and the power of social media ensured the success of the first ever Christmas fair at Hartland Stud near Norden.
The event with artisan stalls, mulled cider, hot food and live music from the band, Hound Dogs for Hire, continued into the evening on Saturday 11th December 2021.
Hartland Stud not only has stables but also a campsite and outbuildings that have been converted into studios for artists and small businesses.
“A really atmospheric environment“
Artist Helen Biles and caterer Jill Holland who work from the studios came up with the idea of having a Christmas event.
Helen Biles said:
“I’m very involved in Purbeck Art Weeks and it was really lovely inviting people to my studio during the summer. I saw that people really enjoyed this beautiful space – it’s a really atmospheric environment.
“So we came up with the idea to invite people again at Christmas. There’s lots of local artisans who work here and we felt it would be good to show what we do and engage with others. We really handpicked the stalls so everything was of a high quality and offered a wide choice of crafts.
“It went really well, especially as it’s the first time that we’ve done this and we didn’t really advertise – just word of mouth and social media. We had a huge turnout, great footfall and a lovely atmosphere – really positive!”
Elly Harvey setting up her silver jewellery display
Handmade cushions by Aline Johnson
Catherine Caton, owner of Hartland Stud
“So much local talent”
Hartland Stud owner is Caroline Caton and she helped with the event organisation. She said:
“There’s so much local talent – artists and people who do cooking and crafts in the area that we thought we should invite everyone here and have a Christmas fair.
“It was Helen and Jill’s idea and I just thought it was brilliant, so I was more than happy to support it.”
Artist Samantha Lee March
Jewellery by Adjoua Designs
All the stalls were carefully chosen to offer visitors a choice of interesting things to buy, including these unusual recycled metal lights
Urgently need to plant trees globally
Alongside the art and craft stalls was an art installation by Church Knowle artist, Eilidh Middleton.
The illuminated Christmas Cone tree highlights her message that we urgently need to plant trees globally and to stop the vast and illegal deforestation.
Eilidh Middleton said:
“It was a great event. It was a bit of a wet afternoon but the market did well and by the evening the rain had stopped, the band started up and the huge fire was lit. It became really festive with a comfortable amount of people to give it a buzzy feel!”
Cone Christmas tree created by Eilidh Middleton
“I really think it will happen again!”
There’s already plans to do something again next Christmas and maybe even more events during the summer. Helen Biles added:
“Actually we started talking about doing it again next Christmas, even before the event this year! People really loved it and we had such good feedback that I really think it will happen again!”
More about Hartland Stud is on its website