Dispatches from a Medieval Guildhall

Me peddling my wares
Me peddling my wares at the Pop Up Mall in the Merchant Adventurers Hall
Merchant Adventurer's Hall, York
Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, York

This weekend I had a stall at the Proudly in York Pop Up Mall at the 14th century guildhall in York– the Merchant Adventurers Hall– a fitting place to celebrate York’s small businesses. The event was friendly, warm and well organized– really what you’d expect from the wonderful folks at One&Other Magazine who were the driving force behind the event.

My stall felt right at home in the gloriously light, high-ceilinged medieval hall. I was reminded again how this city and its ancient histories are constantly informing my designs and creative choices.

I was struck by the diversity of the stalls– many were representations of  independent High Street shops with a presentation of a smaller version of their shops, others were small makers and handmade businesses like myself taking advantage of this opportunity to gain more exposure in the community. I felt a special affinity with Sonia Curry, the dressmaker behind Rowan Tree Designs who was also knitting at her booth, displaying a selection of her crocheted jewellery. (I always knit at my stall– it keeps my hands busy during the inevitable lulls).  Frank and Olive Crochet were teaching folks how to hook and selling cute handmade baby clothes with a stall overflowing with granny squares.

I have to give a big shout out to to of my favourite stall neighbors, Bluebird Bakery who kept us fed with the most deliciously, freshly-baked and locally sourced carbs you could dream of.  I didn’t even know their was a Real Bread Campaign in Britain, but now I do. From their website:

Bluebird Bakery was born from a desire to re-establish the connection between what we eat and where our food comes from. By using local organic flour, wild and organic yeast and employing traditional long-fermentation methods, we create hand-crafted loaves which need no flour improvers, saturated fats or other additives. Most of our loaves are suitable for vegans.

Also thanks to Sal and Jason of Swirl Clothing. Who have helped me in myriad ways, not just with this stall but with others as well– they are great members of the small business community. Plus, she designs lovely dresses– I was wearing one of her lovely frocks on Saturday!

Mike, my faithful helper,  manning the Feral Strumpet Stall.
Mike, my faithful helper, manning the Feral Strumpet Stall.

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