The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds
Since my childhood there has been a Christmas Fair in the area in aid of WellChild, the national charity for sick children. For several years it has been our neighbour at Daylesford and having started in someone’s sitting room now runs to several marquees over three days incorporating hundreds of stands and thousands of visitors.
Visionary Lucy Greaves
A testament to the very hard work of Lucy Greaves, that ‘someone’ had a vision to help a friend show her hand painted silk fabrics to other people and, before the charity Christmas Fair was a ‘thing’, Lucy invited friends in with a few other stall holders who paid a fee for their table and gave a percentage of takings to charity. Lucy’s Christmas Fair committee now extends to 30 volunteers, many of whom have been with her since the beginning.
Having been both a shopper and stallholder over the years I can testify to the fact that this Christmas Fair is still a very friendly yet high energy environment. As a stall holder a lovely touch is when volunteers come around at lunch time with rolls and a drink – nothing short of a blessing in the middle of 8 hours on your feet without a break! What this also shows is that the original vision of a friendly Christmas Fair to sell at and buy from remains at the heart of this highly successful commercial enterprise.
Daylesford plays host
The event has been at Daylesford for almost a decade and has over 4000 visitors, this year opening its doors from Monday 5th November for the preview evening to Wednesday 7th November. This is serious shopping, people! You have to pay to shop as the Christmas Fair is ticketed – and the preview sells out in advance every time. The wonderful thing is that all the stalls have been handpicked by Lucy and so you are guaranteed to find an interesting range of products selling high quality goods from food to gifts to clothes to beauty products. It’s a Christmas shopping dream as many of the products are handcrafted and unique or at the very least limited edition.
These days the event is more than just stalls. This year, there will be workshops and cookery demonstrations, poetry readings, an art gallery and – stop press – a Tesla experience. My, how things have grown!
Last year the Christmas Fair raised over £80,000 for WellChild, which is a huge achievement. Lucy herself has visited hospitals where she has funded research and seen first-hand the enormous difference WellChild makes to sick children and their families.
The vision of WellChild is to facilitate ‘every child and young person living with serious health needs to have the best chance of thrive – properly supported at home with their families.’ Critically this plugs a key NHS gap by helping families care for their sick children at home, where they should be, rather than leaving them stranded in a hospital because there is no funding to care for them at home.
Stay with us!
There are tickets available on the door for Tuesday 6th November and Wednesday 7th November 9am-5pm so cottage guests can pop along without an advance booking. Anyone wanting to come in to the area and stay for a seriously fabulous three day extravaganza should book in with us; within staggering distance of the shopping and comfy beds and warm pool to relax in at the end of the day!