Community tradition attracts hundreds to town for crafts and gifts

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The Buckingham Craft and Gift Fair returned to the Community Centre recently, hosting their second event of the year since the retirement of the original founders.

For over two decades, the event served as a cherished platform for showcasing local businesses crafts and supporting community causes.

Buckingham Craft and Gift fair
Perfect preserves: fresh produce was a feature of the fair

After original founders,Terry and Vanessa Bloomfield, retired in 2023, a group of traders determined to keep the tradition alive came together to carry on the couple’s work. Jackie Allen, event organiser, said: “We didn’t want to see this finish, so a group of traders in the room got together and found a way to carry this forward. So, in a way, it’s kind of the next chapter.

“The biggest unique selling point is the friendliness of the fair when people come in. And also, the variety and quality of what the traders sell in the room as well. In all, the warm atmosphere just can’t be beaten in here.”

With over 30 stalls, the fair boasted a record number, reaching maximum capacity. Traders echoed the sentiment, expressing their enthusiasm for the bustling atmosphere and the chance to showcase their wares to eager customers.

“Most people do it as a side hustle, but I work full time, and this is a leisure activity. And people appreciate hand-made things for a start. Even if you are giving it as a gift, you can say, this is handmade and I bought it from the person who made it, and that’s a bit better than just walking into Smiths or Boots to get a gift for somebody,” said one.

Stall at the Buckingham Craft and Gift fair
Creature comforts: there was a wide variety of locally-made crafts 

In addition to supporting local businesses, the fair also serves as a platform for charitable organizations to raise awareness and funds for their causes. Representatives from a local charity organisation emphasised the importance of community support in furthering their mission.

Gerry and Jean from the Inner Wheel Association said: “We started over a 100 years ago. Margaret Goldie is the lady that started it. And currently there are over 120,000 members worldwide, we are the longest running association of women.

“We not only do charity for the community we also do international charities. If there is an earthquake we try to help and send money either ourselves or via the Rotary club. Here at Buckingham Craft and Gift Fair we are helping by providing some coffee and tea, and any money we make from that will be put into our charity fund.” Outside the fair, the success of the event can be attributed to its dual purpose: supporting local businesses and charities alike. Through a vibrant display of craftsmanship and community spirit, the fair continues to thrive, and the organisers hope to see more success with the fair in the future.

Trader at the Buckingham Craft and Gift fair
Needle works: home-knitted products are a staple of traditional events 


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