Crafts showcase at town spring fair

Buckingham Harvest Fair.Buckingham Swan Market stall with John Riches and his apple press,Linda Golding and Sheila Preston with cakes and mayor Cllr Ruth Newell with marrows from her allotment.'120930M-B469
Buckingham Harvest Fair.Buckingham Swan Market stall with John Riches and his apple press,Linda Golding and Sheila Preston with cakes and mayor Cllr Ruth Newell with marrows from her allotment.'120930M-B469

Buckingham’s first Spring Fair is just around the corner.

Following on from last year’s Harvest Fair, the Buckingham In Transition group is organising the Spring Fair in the town centre from 11am to 3pm on Sunday, April 21.

Group spokesman John Mortimer said: “We were wanting to do something in Buckingham that was community based. So many people have said that there is no community in Buckingham any more.”

Buckingham In Transition aims to help people combat external problems such as rising fuel prices, by becoming more locally sustainable.

Mr Mortimer added: “A really important part of this is by getting people working together. So we decided to to hold an event that brings people together.”

“We thought of a fair, but a fair with a purpose – to promote sustainability by developing community, demonstrating, learning and having fun.”

The group tried out the approach with its Harvest Fair, last September.

Stallholders were not allowed to just stand there and sell things – they had to engage with the public in some way, such as by demonstrating a craft.

Beekeeper Sam Whitehead said: “It was a fantastic day. Lots of people were interested in saving the bees and growing bee-friendly plants in their gardens.

“I had my bee equipment out and so many people wanted to talk to me about what I do. I spent at least half my time talking to people about bees and how I make the products.

“It was a very successful day in terms of things sold.”

Mr Mortimer said: “We proved the concept worked.

“It was really interesting to watch people wander from one stall to the next, fascinated at whatever was going on.

“We also wanted to show what was going on in Buckingham with regard to growing and making things from groups that are normally relatively hidden. So this year we have decided to put on a similar event, but this time in the spring, so that any activities from the fair might continue into the summer.”

Local schools are taking part in a bunting competition.

There will be a hand-powered roundabout, Punch and Judy, storytelling and llamas.

Demonstrations include a rocket stove and Stirling engine, with the rocket stove being built on the day.

There will also be plants for sale, a seed swap, composting and expert growing advice.

Local groups are providing freshly prepared food, and town centre cafes and some other shops will be open.

Environmental and energy information will be available.

More participants would be welcome. Call John Mortimer on 01280 817438 or john.mortimer@uwclub.net

The event is being co-organised by Buckingham Town Council and supported by Destination Buckingham and AVDC.