Festivals run by Tolhurst Organic are always very convenient for us, as we can open our shop without even leaving the garden! It’s lovely to invite people in to our workshop space.
In addition to our naturally dyed products, we had Winniepegs tie-dye and a small jumble pile, which were also both very popular. Beautiful autumnal weather meant that the event was very popular, with over 2000 people on the day.
Being offered a pitch at Boomtown Fair, a major music festival was a new adventure and we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. We were sharing a pitch and a fire with Hempen, our neighbours at home and now our neighbours in Whistlers Green.
Firstly, we discovered a awful lot of mud! The rain had made the tracks a quagmire and many vehicles were being towed out by tractor. There wasn’t much we could do to set up before the first day of the festival as the water levels were too high, and paddling around in standing water would have disturbed the ground and made it more difficult later.
After a dry 24 hours and lorryloads of chippings, the site had improved just in time for the start of the festival.
Whistlers green, the area we were in, was chilled out with various crafts and relaxation activities available. We were right next to the windmill stage and got to see several artists (including morning aerobics) each day which was great.
Despite the rainy start, it was an exciting and interesting event which we are glad to have experienced.
The Cathedral craft fair was a brilliant event for us. We were very busy all weekend and had a lot of very interested people passing through our workshops and demonstrations. The event organisers were understanding of our requirements for water etc., and very accommodating of our unusual set-up.
It was a privilege to be set up in the cathedral green itself, with a beautiful “Constable view” of the west end of the cathedral itself. We feel that this atmospheric environment added to the success of the fair.
As an additional interest for us, we parked our large red van in the stonemasons yard behind the cathedral, where many pieces of sculpture were being stored. Many of these were suprisingly large – as they needed to go on the top of the cathedral tower!
We would very much like to return to this event in the future, hopefully it will become a regular fixture for us.
Large multi-period festival with many expert speakers and living history encampments from the Bronze age to WWII. Held in a beautiful bowl valley of rural chalk downland with some fantastic wildlife.
Lovely to see so many dedicated reenactors from so many different periods in history. One of the charms of Chalke Valley is the unusual combinations of people from different times interacting – Romans, Vikings, Tudor and WWI soldiers conversing while a Spitfre flys overhead. The kindness and co-operation between the participants was particulaly overwhelming this year. We had several offers of assistance to move our tent, stock, etc. and many sympathetic conversations about the ankle-deep mud in our area of the site!
Unfortunately we were unable to stay for the second day, as the mud and flooding in our area of the site had become unmanageable. Luckily our wools and tents survived!
We’re back again at our lovely local festival: WOOD Festival!
The plant fibres workshop was very popular, preparing flax, nettle and other fibres ready for spinning, into thread and weaving into cloth. Many people made their own nettle string to take home.
We were also spinning yarn(s), weaving all kinds of magic (including 2:1 twill on the warp weighted loom) and dyeing socks every colour of the rainbow. New dyes from the festival field were used, including nettles and burdock, and bracken collected from welsh hills. These dyes make beautifully soft greens, yellows, greys and browns.
Our stall and dyeing area on the lawn outside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Salisbury Archaeology Festival
Salisbury Museum held an Archaeology festival around their new Wessex Gallery. We were demonstrating wool crafts next to our good friends Ancient Music.
It was a very hot event, and many people were realising some of the drawbacks of what we imagine as traditional historical costume. It got us thinking about what people would have worn when the weather was so hot. It’s certainly possible that they only had a few light coverings of linen, to prevent sunburn while keeping as cool as possible.
We greatly enjoyed this event, there were very many interested people there, and many experts in their respective fields. We certainly enjoyed watching the other expert craftspeople plying their trades.
We were also featured on BBC Radio Wiltshire, while we were combing some wool. Listen below: