Thousands flock to Alford Craft Market

Christele Askew displays her hand made ceramic art at Alford Craft Market.
Christele Askew displays her hand made ceramic art at Alford Craft Market.
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Thousands of visitors flocked to Alford over the Bank Holiday weekend to marvel at the skilled craftsmen and women demonstrating their trade during the town’s 39th Craft Market.

The volunteer organisers have hailed the event as a ‘huge success’ after Alford Manor House was blessed with three days of great weather and a superb turn-out from visitors and stall holders alike.

Dawn Blakey displays Kettler's Cottage Crafts' hand-made soap and  candles at Alford Craft Market.

Dawn Blakey displays Kettler's Cottage Crafts' hand-made soap and candles at Alford Craft Market.

Alford Craft Market’s membership secretary Priscilla McGirr says the feedback from visitors has been emphatically positive.

“It might have been partially down to the great weather but the atmosphere all weekend with the traders and visitors was fantastic - everyone had a great time,” she said.

This year’s theme was ‘A Festival of Glass’ with numerous craftsmen and women demonstrating the various facets of the art. Spectators gathered in marquees to watch the masters at work painting glass, bead making and designing stained glass, with many enjoying the chance to have a go themselves.

“The glass blower was the piece de resistance - he was just wonderful,” added Priscilla.

Anthony Wassell gives a glass blowing demonstration at Alford Craft Market.

Anthony Wassell gives a glass blowing demonstration at Alford Craft Market.

“The idea was to feature all of the different crafts related to glass to show how these things are made because a lot of people don’t appreciate what goes on behind the scenes - we look on it as a partly educational event.”

The Mayor of Alford Coun Jenny Cooper, who was among the event’s 3,000 visitors, has praised the organisers for helping to put the town on the map as a centre for crafts.

“Alford is becoming known as a craft centre and the town council fully supports it - it’s a vital part of the town’s event calendar,” she said.

Next year will be the 40th Alford Craft Market with many special additions to celebrate the momentous milestone.

LIVES first responders manning their stall at Alford Craft Market, pictured from left,  Ann Malkin, Mandy Lill, Linda knight, the Mayor of Alford Coun Jenny Cooper, Jo Bishell and Paul Fretwell.

LIVES first responders manning their stall at Alford Craft Market, pictured from left, Ann Malkin, Mandy Lill, Linda knight, the Mayor of Alford Coun Jenny Cooper, Jo Bishell and Paul Fretwell.

“There have been lots of exciting things planned but at the moment we’re keeping it under our hats,” said Priscilla.

“The instigators, Heather and Michael Ducos’ intention from the start has always been to bring great crafts to Alford because that was their passion and that’s been its motivation ever since.”

Priscilla and her fellow committee members run the Craft Market as a not for profit event and are very grateful for all the support offered.

East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Defra, Coastal Action Zone and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development have all contributed financially to the event.

Priscilla has also thanked local firm Gnutti for allowing her members to park on its premises for free over the weekend.

For more information and pictures from the event search for ‘Alford Craft Market’ on Facebook.