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First Boot, Craft and Produce Fair of the year

SUNDAY 15th April dawned dry, albeit cloudy for the first Boot, Craft and Produce Fair of 2018.
As I approached the Martello Fields just after 08:30, I became aware that although the gates had opened for stallholders at 7:30, the Field was already full of people milling around a field full of cars and stalls. The roads around the Field were full of parked cars, and there was a queue inside the Field for parking spaces, and a traffic jam near the entrance as more people in their vehicles arrived.
Looking up towards the Martello Tower, I saw that the parking spaces on the Esplanade overlooking the Field, were occupied by a complete row of vehicles, and as a result I had to park my car further along the Esplanade and walk back to view the array of stalls.
Before the early morning dew cleared, the sun managed to break through the clouds and this helped boost the already a good sized crowd of potential customers to the large number of stalls.

There were the expected items for sale, clothes, CD’s, plants books, jigsaw puzzles, crockery, costume jewellery, and toys. There were also some more unexpected, unusual and large items.
These included two pairs of child’s crutches; a large pink toy bear and a large toy purple rabbit; a selection of reconditioned trainers; three saddles – the seller said that anyone who owned a horse had a saddle, and that there was thus not much interest in purchasing them; a Father Christmas, the size of a small child – this was snapped up for £1; several stalls with Christmas decorations (in April!).
Resting at the back of one stall was a copy of the 2001 WI calendar issued by the Ladies of Rylstone Women’s Institute that resulted in a film and stage show ‘The Calendar Girls’.
There was a total of 79 stall holders at this the first fair of 2018, in which we raised over £850 including a significant contribution to funds in our donation buckets at the event, and the takings from our own Rotary Club stall, and which made it our best ever April Boot Fair, about £300 more than our previous best in April 2017.
The large number of stalls which almost filled the West Martello Field far exceeded the 61 stalls at the fair held in August 2017 which was the greatest number last year, but that is not the greatest number, that was back in 2015.
Why so good? Reason for large number - some said they had loaded for the Scout Fair but when that was washed out due to the inclement weather on the Sunday, had kept their vehicles loaded and came to us. Also a few said they had intended to go to the Brighton Fair but that was cancelled due to the staging of the Brighton Marathon. As always, the weather forecast is a critical factor - if, on Saturday, the forecast is good, the turnout is higher, and many said that they had seen a good forecast.

posted: Sunday, 15 April 2018

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