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Harburn Village Hall - Craft Fair Archive 2008


After a slow start the 2008 Harburn Village Craft Fair resumed where it left off last year and the midday sun (watery and intermittent) saw the normal crowds shoe-horning themselves into the Hall. Ticket Supremo McDonald reported a steady sale - not quite as brisk as last year but very satisfactory nevertheless. The prophets of doom (and there were a fair few of them) were again proved wrong and by closing time it became clear that the Hall would be benefiting by quite a few bob.

Once again the variety of skills on display amazed. Once again your Craft Fair Mole would remind readers that the majority of the stall holders come from Harburn or nearby. Once again new faces were to be seen amongst the old.
(Rephrase that - Ed)
True: there were some notable absentees. It is to be hoped,for instance, that Jennie Tuffs' Art Stall will be returning next year. Her ever-popular cards, her vibrant designs and her infectious enthusiasm were certainly greatly missed this year.
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On the other hand we had some new comers. Anne Marie Espie (supported by members of her family) offered a selection of brightly-coloured soaps and other toiletries. When visited by your reporter later in the day, the crush at the stall made inspection very difficult. Peter West's Wood Turning stall was also drawing the crowds. His was an infectious enthusiasm and he was only too prepared to discuss the materials with the onlooker. In the Mole's case, the discussion was a tad one-sided.

Margaret Lawrence offered us Garden Ornaments. The subjects were mainly animals and were made from concrete and then hand-painted. No doubt they will be sighted round local gardens if and when Summer ever appears. The Whittle Family (Funkrase 871040) had moved pitch! They still offered us their normal excellent value and great variety. It's no coincidence that, around this time of year, there seem to be an amazing number of never-seen-before earrings on neighbours' ears. Wonder where they came from? Frank, Sue and Allana's stalls are invariably great attractions, offering the cliché 'something for all tastes' to the mass of punters ogling the beaded work,the dream catchers, the charms and the other jewellery offered. Helen Bisset's work needs no introduction. Again, she had both Pyrography and Beaded Craft on display.Yet again The Mole was staggered by the intricacy and skill displayed on Helen's stall.If you've not looked closely at her jewellery make sure you do next time. Quite beautiful work. Another needing no introduction is Jonnie Hamilton whose wood turning exhibits are such a feature of both Craft Fair and Festival. He and Alice dispensed enthusiasm and blether to those who came to admire the beautifully-turned boxes, bowls, tobacco jars (JARS....Jars made of wood? Shurely shome mishtake?) and of course the famous walking sticks. Alice was also hard at work rattling off hand-knitted socks.
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Irene Muholland told the Mole last year that she was able to do much of the preparation work for some of her exhibits whilst having a chat or watching TV. Having a closer look this year (and asking someone else to check as well) we were quite certain she was telling a porkie! No one could produce work of such quality whilst watching Casualty or even European Golf! As usual Irene's stall offered high quality work of what seemed to the Mole be incrdibly intricate skill.

Liz Steele's stall offered us topical goods. Jester bags, embroidery, decorations and cross-stitch work provided the solution to many a Christmas problem whilst Susan Howie (Calder Crafts 872441) also displayed her normal popular and attractive patchwork items and cards. Ray Kew's stall is always a source of admiration. It's always roughly the same and yet is consistently very different. None of your mass-produced here. No danger of repetition. You forget you bought a relative one of Ray's 2004 items and snap one up in 2008. No problem: chances are the wool is a different colour anyway, but even if it isn't, there'll be subtle differences of shade and design. She also offered her famous Cards with quite atrocious puns to keep you chuckling. return to top
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Linda Brown (Kids & Things 07741 091262) again offered a packed stall and was another who when the Mole approached, was surrounded by eager and admiring Harburnians. Her fleece items were again on display as well as other novel offerings. The amusing Hedgehogs which appeared last year had hibernated, but I gather they can still be resuscitated by contacting Linda.

It's probably easier to list things NOT on sale on the Mackenzie stall. Hedgehogs weren't (unless you know different) but, to name but a few, paper, cards. stationery,bookmarks and the like certainly were, and in a great variety of colours and styles as well. Katie and Marina had done a great job making the display welcoming and attractive. The same could be said of Iona Allan who was returning for the second year. Her first ever Craft Fair was in the Hall last year. She seems to have taken to these events as her range was even more impressive and, in particular, the earrings which seemed to be the focus of much attention. As the Mole revealed last year, one of her many skills is, in fact, fly-tying. Unfortunately, Iona forgot to bring samples of this art along in 2008.

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Which brings us to weighty matters. Harsh words must have been used following last year's revelation ON THIS SITE that certain items had been sold to certain people by certain people BEFORE THE OFFICIAL HOURS OF SALE! This year, the Mole, determined to look after the interests of the public, was there, and battering on the door demanding entrance at 11:00:02. Ignoring the clutching claws of 'Big Al' McDonald and his raffle-enforcers, the Mole with no regard to his personal safety, burst into the Hall to find that (hallelujah!) the cake stall was groaning, and purchases could be (and were) made.

The Rural baking stall raised around £120 with their widely renowned variety of cakes and rolls washed down with welcome tea or (delicious) coffee. Isobel (and I'm sure anyone who attended) thanks anyone who was involved on the stall. A lot of hard work, but,as ever, much appreciated.The Enforcer, as has been said, was also pleased with a sum in excess of £110 on the Raffle tickets.The Grand Total looks like being around the £500 mark which is, as they say, considerably better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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