SWC Christmas Fair

Sunday 21 November 2010

On Sunday 21st November Sheffield Woodturning Club held its first Christmas Fair. It was a worrying time for the members of the committee who had no idea how it would be received by the public. We had designed and printed flyers which our members handed out in their local areas as well as to family and friends. In addition, our hard working club secretary had sent out press releases to all the local radio stations, newspapers and free magazines. So would we have a handful of people through the door, a manageable number or would they being queuing the length of Wood Lane? We just didn’t know. As it turned out, the number of people who supported us was just right. In spite of our start time being advertised as 12.00pm, the first people came through the door at 11.40 and from then on there was a very steady stream for the next four hours. At the end of the day we had recorded almost 250 adult visitors and many of them had brought children with them.

Shortly before our first visitors arrived a land rover towing a trailer full of timber pulled into the yard, driven by Steve Booler from Rotherham Sawmill. He turned up completely out of the blue, having seen one of our adverts. He gave us a trailer full of wood to sell for St Luke's and then came back later with a stack of bowl blanks.  This caused a flurry of interest which, again, went on throughout the day and raised £310 for St Luke’s. How generous!

The display filled the length of the wall on the left side of the Grain Loft and at the end of the room we had two lathes running with demonstrations going on all day. Chairs were set out in front of the lathes; these were always full, with many more people standing behind them. Most of the people demonstrating found the items they turned were bought by people in the audience as soon as they came off the lathe. These demonstrations were obviously a big attraction to our visitors, many of whom stayed to watch more than one demonstration.

All profits from the day will be donated to St Luke’s at the end of our club year and, with the money from the timber sales mentioned earlier, this comes to a very creditable £800. Not bad for just four hours.

Our first Christmas Fair was an unqualified success so let us hope it will be the first of many over the coming years and will become a regular fixture in Sheffield’s social calendar.

Make sure you don’t miss the link to the video at the bottom of this page.

Next year’s event is already booked for Sunday 6th November so make sure you put this date in your diary.