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Harburn Village Hall - Craft Fair 2015 & 16


Sorry no full report this year, but Guy banged off some fine snaps, and there are a few comments, so here you go....................

The annual CRAFT FAIR is one of not a few events in which, I reckon, the Community punches above its weight. Regularly, Isobel (one of the main driving forces) finds stall holders for not far short of 20 pitches and, on occasion there have been brisk deals being done on the car park in front of the Hall. Stall holders had been allocated(and happily accepted) pitches in the cold!

This year, as ever, the venue was buzzing not long after the doors had been thrown open by Alistair and his assistant David. There are some who come for the variety of Crafts on display, there are others who attend looking for some unusual Christmas gifts and, let's face it, quite a few arrive eager for a blether and for a chance to sample the quality goodies offered by the WRI or SWRI or WI or SWI or whatever that estimable organisation is called this week.
Pictured above l is one of Ray Kew's home-grown and made examples of Lang Whang knitwear. I don't think any report on the Craft Fair would be complete without a photo of these items, sometimes on Ray's stall, sometimes being displayed as in this snap and, on one occasion, being modelled by Harburn's Queen of the catwalk, Heide. Top right shows Diana and Lynette, ensuring that punters are kept well-stocked with the celebrated Harburn Rural (Rural? Wash your mouth out) delicacies.

Heather (above left), regretting the choice of the Ladybird Introduction to Drawing, searches frantically for a more suitable Christmas present for Wilkie whilst, (above rt and below l) , suspicious characters hover round the Christmas Gifts stall.

Below is a list of stall holders who we thank for their support of the event. If you need further information about their products, please use the Contact Us page on this site. The thanks of everyone go to ISOBEL McCHESNEY, without whose unstinting and repeated efforts, this event would probably disappear............Thanks Isobel. And David McD who with henchperson Alistair, had to shiver in the less-than-central-heated entrance hall making sure that unsuspecting visitors were forced to feel in their pockets to buy some raffle tickets.

Difficult to thank the Rural. Firstly we're not sure what to call them at the moment and, secondly, so many of them put in the hours, that to mention one does a grave disservice to the many others. Anyway, many thanks to all who manned the urns on the day.
Ray Kew                             ........  Woolcraft – hand made and home grown
Rural Craft                          ........  Various
Malcolm Bissett              ............... Charred wood with glass & candles         
Peter West                    ............... Wood turning   
Jo Tavern(The Crafty Cauldron)  ...... Aromatherapy products              
Linda Brown          ........................ Fleece & small knitted gifts           
Susan Howie        ..........................Patchwork, quilting & cards          
Valerie Anderson   ..........................Polymer clay & beaded jewellery & accessories       
Heather Stevenson Smith    ............ Mixed media art   
Allister Guy          ..........................Stained and fused glass and honey Liz Steele            .............................. Decorations, gifts,cards               
Sue Whittle         ...........................Knitted, crocheted & sewn items jewellery         
Allana Whittle     ............................Dream catchers & jewellery             
Irene Mullholland  ...........................Christmas decorations, cards,scarves 
Roy Pritchard      ............................Wood turning     
Rural Baking by the Rural.

2015 CRAFT FAIR.....................


The signs were there: literally so on the roads round the Community. Admittedly, some helpful spirit had altered the direction on a couple of the notices, and so, possibly the rival 'do' at James Young High School, gained a patron or two. Mind you, the Harburn Craft fair clientele are a doughty lot and most ignored the duff information and headed for the bacon rolls and cakes!

It can be no other function when you are greeted by Alistair and his trusty Henchperson David McD. Alistair only comes for this event and is becoming a smooth operator. You are lucky if you get past this duo without forking out for a raffle ticket or two! Once inside, it was much the same as ever. But, as always there were enough new vendors to interest the visitor. Amongst thsee visitors it was good to register spiderman's nod of approval! (see photo).

Commanding her traditional spot just inside the door was Ray Kew whose stall, as usual, offered us, in the main, headwear lovingly rays heads 15manufactured from her own flock of rare breeds. An assistant website miole, taking time off from her food duties, was to be seen digging into her pockets. She had been getting the hard-sell from Ray and was all-too-easily persuaded to invest in a price of Lang Whang headgear.

Jejennie at craft 15nnie Tuffs (Roundhouse Publications) was also in her traditional pitch once again. She had been greatly missed last year and returned with a much-expanded range of jewellery and, in particular, mirrors. These have grown in intricacy over the last few years and your Craft Fair mole disagreed with the artist over preferences. He greatly admired a bright blue offering, where Jennie herself leant towards the more subdued items. Strange that, when you think about it!!

Funkrase Crafts are normally represented by Frank and Sue Whittle, from West Calder (see photo left). This year Frank was not to be seen. Back in the workshop producing further examples of his competitively priced and attractive jewellery? Learning his lines for Cinderella? Not a bit of it..............protecting the house from violent assault by the new Whittle household puppy, which made an appearance late in the day and was soundly smothered in affection by Sandra for its pains! As ever, Sue had been hard at it with funkrase 15 craft fairthe needles and had produced some lovely and ahhh-worthy knitted gifts. Nearby was another stalwart of the show, Irene Mulholland whose eclectic mix of gifts (often hand made) drew the eye. As often, she was generouisly splitting her takings between the Hall and Children in Need. If you haven't stopped to admire the skill in the construction of Irene's offerings, make sure you take a look next year! The same might be said of Susan Howie's work on the Calder Crafts stall. There's never anything hurried or slipshod on Susan's stall. As with her award-winning entries in various SWRI competitions, she is a perfectionist. This year she was offering a new line of extremely attractive (sponge) bags. Your Mole was much taken by a bag decorated with dollar bills - the material for which had been imported from the US of A.(see photo below right)
susan howies bags
Newcomer to the Fair was Emily Ainsworth a recent graduate in Textiles and Surface Design (er? Surface Design?) whose stall was populated by highly attractive and original work. Particularly enticing were some bags in her own design which were very reasonably priced at £13 and some lively Christmas Cards were on offer to those who have still to purchase theirs. A worthwhile alternative to tired old Rudolf, or wobbling turkeys. Welcome aboard Emily. Another newcomer was Valerie Anderson, a jewellery designer, who offered us intricate and most intriguing brooches, bracelets, rings and the like, often based on polymer clay which really is a versatile medium. Valerie's excellent website ( displays the range of her jewellery which also includes hip-flasks decorated with a number of individual motifs.

iona allen craft fair Iona Allen first appeared in Harburn at the 2012 Fair and intrigued the '12 mole by revealing that her first love was that of fly-tyeing. Her simple jewellery has become markedly more intricate these days but this has done nothing to detract from its appeal. Mind you, it was difficult to have a word with Iona who was buried somewhere amongst an Argus of Peacock and less exotic feathers some of which had been dyed (see photo to left). Near to Iona we met the return of Pete's Woodturning stall. Here there was some hard bargaining going on which your Mole was reluctant to interrupt. As far as could be gathered, the flint-hearted pitch-owner was turning down a fairly optimistic offer from a five-year-old client for one of Pete's extremely popular wooden tops. These rarely seem to sit for long on his stall, and have, in the past, been the target of the pocket money of many a Harburn youth. Tops and those ruddy drum sticks! (see photo below right) Anyway, just as it looked as if the prospective purchaser was going to have to leave top-less, the stallholder relented, high fives were exchanged and away went a mighty contented customer. Pete doepetes stall15s a good line in these novelties but he is also a craftsman who favours Scottish hardwood and produces works of beautiful simplicity including some really eye-catching bowls. Sorry, we are told that some of these are more-correctly called Quaiches. Whichever, they are much to be admired.

Liz Steele Crafts is one of those stalls that justifies the claim in Ray's publicity that those who need help with their last-minute presents would do well to visit the Fair. Like Irene, Liz offers an eclectic mix. Eye-catching were, in particular, some bags, but her cards and decorations should have satisfied those who hadn't already been sandbagged in Princes Street. Linda Brown was returning with her Kids 'N Things which offered, as the title suggested, Things for Kids! As often, your Mole was attracted by items that were of absolutely no relevance to him or his family, and hadn't been for many a year. Maybe the daughter would like one of those admirable patchworth balls - offered at a price to knock spots off various illustrious high-street outlets - or, if not, how about a pencil case? 'Fraid not, even the daughter's children are becoming too old for suchlike. Really fetching though.


Another craftsman was Roy Pritchard who once again offered a selection of eye-catching and desirable pieces from his wood-turning studio. Appearing on anyone's wish list would be Roy's wooden vase in the centre of his display, but this was by no means the only attraction: the shallow bowl and the stoppered-bottle also caught the eye. Pat Provan drew much favourable pat provan craft fair a5comment from the 2014 Mole and she did not disappoint with her display this year. Pat uses white-painted 'trees' to telling effect to exhibit her items of jewellery. (see photo right )She offered a wide range last Saturday, but she also provides a bespoke service with particular appeal to anyone with upcoming weddings or celebrations needing such an amenity. Your Mole was much intrigued by Pat's delicate and very reasonable selection.

And so to Heather's Craft Studio a source of Mixed Media Arts and Creations we were told. And what Creations they were. Hours must have been spent on a diverse collection. Particularly eye-catching, and just about to be sold when we arrived, was a spiral-bound book decorated with the most extraordinary gothic roses, leaves, butterflies and many, many more motifs which had been shaped, baked and finally 'frosted' with loving care by, presumably, Heather. The above description lacks the correct technical terminology, and doesn't do justice to the produce of this extraordinary stall which had similarly enticed last years reporter.
full house 15
Of course, no report on a Harburn function is complete without mention of the celebrated WRI catering. After all, there are theories that bacon baps and tray bakes, together with a cup of tea and, just possibly, a protracted blether are some of the main attractions. (see photo right) All these arty-farty stalls? They're obstructing my route to another portion of carrot cake?

Off the racecard, wedged in near Ray Kew's headwear, you may have noticed some striking wood carving and table decorations. These were the work of a newcomer Howard Spencer, member of the Friday 'Soup Kitchen' and, on the day, in addition to displaying and selling some of his exhibits, Howard managed to gain loadsa brownie points from the SWRI by showing much dexterity (not to say great patience) in holding down the important position of Table Clearer in Chief! Careful Howard, that's a job for life!
Enough said. The Rural, as you may or may not be allowed to call it, was on excellent form. But there again, it always is, isn't it? Normally these members manage to hide behind a veil of anonymity.......let's out them: Isobel, Sandra, Kitty, Evelyn, Sarah, Juliet, Betty, Helen oh god, I hope I haven't left anyone out!
neckwear 15
PS: Late News:The winner of the 'guess the weight of the cake' competition,  was Mike Welch,  who guessed the correct weight of 10lb 8oz. 

Craft Stall Contacts

Irene Mulholland Tel: 01506 872709 
Calder Crafts Tel: 01506 872441
Crafty Creations Tel: 01506 844688
Funkrase Crafts Tel: 01506 871040
Peter West’s Tel: 01501 7722790
Pat Provan Tel: 01506 435612
Iona Allen Tel: 01506 873073
Roy Pritchard Tel: 01506 492400
Kew Kottage Krafts Tel: 01506 883517
Liz Steele Tel: 07742 821355
Kids 'n Things Tel: 07741 091262

Valerie Anderson
0780 704 5615
Jennie Tuffs
Tel: 01506 872006
Heather’s Craft Studio
Emily Ainsworth

At the moment we have no contact details for Howard Spencer. We hope to provide these shortly.