Our final craft fair for Christmas 2015 was held at the Flea Market and Vintage Fair in the Old Christ Church in Waterloo, Merseyside, about 1 mile from the Anthony Gormley statues 'Another Place' on Crosby beach. There were up to 90 stalls offering a range of products from bric-a-brac, upcycled gifts, steampunk, handmade cards, framed paintings and jewellery.
There was also a cafe selling drinks, hot dogs and mince pies served up by the volunteers. The church also holds a farmers market with a food fair and artisans market featuring produce from local independent vendors and craft makers.
The venue was previously an Anglican church and is now a Grade II listed building under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, which is a charity that protects historic churches in England. The building was built between 1891 and 1899 and functioned as a church until 1982 when it was closed after the congregation had declined in numbers.
It was scheduled for demolition in 1993 before a public enquiry resulted in a decision to conserve the building. Thankfully, the building was saved and put to good use with community events and activities such as the Annual Arts Exhibition, Sefton's Big Draw, Craft Antiques and Collectors Fair, Toys For Boys and Craft Fairs. A group known as The Friends of Old Christ Church has been formed to raise money to improve the facilities provided by the church building and to encourage its use by the community.
This was another great opportunity to meet and chat with visitors who recalled memories of original telegrams they sent and received. Orders were placed to relatives as far away as New Zealand and Canada. The stall gave customers the opportunity to see and hold the telegrams up close and discuss the various telegram designs and what kind of messages could be written.
With the wide variety of items for sale it provided a real alternative to High Street since browsing in a drafty old church on a cold rainy morning still proves to be a popular outing for everyone from couples and families to antique dealers. The farmers market will return in January 2016 and the craft fair will return in February 2016. Details will be posted on Facebook and published here:
The day was only able to happen because of the kind volunteers who give up their time to help organise the event plus the diverse artistans who made their wares available in this beautiful location. The event was well attended by visitors from far and wide and The Telegram Office looks forward to participating in the next one. By then we hope to have a new and improved stall with better signage and graphics and perhaps a soundtrack of a typewriter to help everyone get into the vintage spirit.
This brings an end to our craft fair attendance for 2015, while the telegrams will always be available to order here on our website. The Telegram wishes all our visitors a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.