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West Berkshire village's first candlelit market attracts 1,700



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Hampstead Norreys Community Shop’s first candlelit market has proved a great success.

Many stallholders said it was their best-ever event in terms of ambience and sales.

Around 1,700 visitors were welcomed to the recent event, which ran from 3.30pm to 7.30pm with the first couple of hours packed with people browsing the stalls.

Jenny and David, of Scampy
Jenny and David, of Scampy

It was a real community effort as a large number of volunteers came together to help organise the event, each with their own role, but the main organisers were Vicky Trentham and Lesley Ravenscroft.

The market, outside the shop in The Courtyard, aimed to celebrate the village’s shop and to help local small businesses and sole traders, while also giving the community a good time.

Artisan stallholders were sought, people selling goods that can’t be found on the high street.

Hampstead Norreys Community Shop's own stall selling a wide range of eco-friendly goods
Hampstead Norreys Community Shop's own stall selling a wide range of eco-friendly goods

In total there were 48 stallholders and at least 20 had to be turned away as there was insufficient space.

Many of them sell eco-friendly goods and the vast majority were local to the area.

Ms Ravenscroft said that the Community Shop has been running markets in The Courtyard twice a year – winter and summer – for many years, but this year was the first time they had tried a candlelit market.

Mulled apple juice from apples picked locally by villagers. Stall run by the shop orchard team who have planted and care for a large number of heritage fruit trees
Mulled apple juice from apples picked locally by villagers. Stall run by the shop orchard team who have planted and care for a large number of heritage fruit trees

“We wanted something different from most events that are run at this time of year. Something that looked and felt magical – and it did!” she said.

Entertainment was provided by well-known local duo of musicians Scampy – Jenny Scully from Hampstead Norreys and David Stamp from Compton.

However, the event had been in danger of cancellation, as the person who was doing the lights was struck down by Covid.

John, our helpful elf, directing children to the free activities (53352747)
John, our helpful elf, directing children to the free activities (53352747)

A big thanks went to Ashley of SKIPS Electrical Ltd and Version 2 Lights from Ashampstead Common who stepped in.

“They were magnificent; without them the event could not have gone ahead,” the organisers said.

The weather was cold, but it was dry and not windy. “The mulled wine sold out quite quickly,” said Ms Ravenscroft. “We also offered warm mulled apple juice, made with apples donated by villagers earlier in the year.”

With so many people attracted to the market, all the village roads were used, but people parked considerately for which the organisers said they were grateful. The event had been worth it, and will hopefully return next year.

Pictures: Barbara Kilpatrick.

Hampstead Norreys Candlelit Market natural products from the Purity Company (53352277)
Hampstead Norreys Candlelit Market natural products from the Purity Company (53352277)
Delicious mulled wine . . . vast quantities sold!
Delicious mulled wine . . . vast quantities sold!
Goods for the home from Speckled Hen Interiors
Goods for the home from Speckled Hen Interiors
Original artwork from Armadillo Images
Original artwork from Armadillo Images
Upcycling unwanted objects into lamps and other goods, BeeSpoke Upcycling
Upcycling unwanted objects into lamps and other goods, BeeSpoke Upcycling
Handmade gifts from Lovely Happy Things
Handmade gifts from Lovely Happy Things
Original artwork from Little Pretty Prints
Original artwork from Little Pretty Prints
recycledHampstead Norreys Candlelit market recycled copper stars from Sadlers Woodhouse6 (53352103)
recycledHampstead Norreys Candlelit market recycled copper stars from Sadlers Woodhouse6 (53352103)
Hampstead Norreys candlelit market handmade gifts from Lovely Happy Things
Hampstead Norreys candlelit market handmade gifts from Lovely Happy Things


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