Festive craft fair boosts Swaffham community hospital

Swaffham Christmas Craft Fair'Fair organisers Camille and Carol Pegg
Swaffham Christmas Craft Fair'Fair organisers Camille and Carol Pegg
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Swaffham’s seventh traditional Christmas craft fair provided an array of home-made gifts at the weekend.

The event, held at the Assembly Rooms on Saturday, was organised by mother and daughter, Carol and Camille Pegg, in aid of the town’s Community Hospital.

Swaffham Christmas Craft Fair'Shepherd Sarah Sear with some of the many colourful things she makes from the wool of her own sheep

Swaffham Christmas Craft Fair'Shepherd Sarah Sear with some of the many colourful things she makes from the wool of her own sheep

“We’ve got around 25 stalls and we’re keen to promote hand-made crafts,” said Carol Pegg.

“We had no trouble filling the hall. As members of the Norfolk Crafts Guild we know lots of crafters.”

Some stalls offered main-stream Christmas gifts such as festive cards, calendars, decorations, knitwear and textiles.

Others such as Stow Bardolph’s Sarah Sear, a shepherd for 30 years, demonstrated the less usual art of needle felting using materials from some of her hand-reared lambs.

“I’m sculpting in wool,” she said, as she teased out wool using fine barbed needles to mimic the fur of animals, including tiny, realistic squirrells.

Using natural, unprocessed wool, sometimes dyed, she creates a whole range of other items including flowers and small ornaments such as tiny pirate boats.

Some stalls showcased natural materials such as Melinda Llewdib’s Sea-Glass Jewellery which nature partially fashions for her.

She goes beachcombing for pebbles and pieces of discarded glass shaped and smoothed over many decades by the sea and the sand. She then adds her own individual touch by fashioning her finds into necklaces, bangles, brooches and rings.

Another stall provided a bewildering array of traditional wooden toys, evoking memories amongst older visitors of a time, before the dominance of plastic, when the presents they unwrapped at Christmas time had been built of a material that for hundreds of years had been carved and fashioned by man for the enjoyment for children.

The event is expected to raise around £200 and Carol said: “We organise the fair to raise money because the local hospital needs supporting. They are an important part of the community.”

She also thanked the ICENI Partnership for letting them have the hall at reduced charity rates.