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Big (and sad) decision finally made

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  • Big (and sad) decision finally made

    After nearly 30 years of making pottery we've taken the difficult decision to call it a day. We've both had over a year of health issues and the dust and fumes and heavy lifting which we've always taken in our stride without blinking has started to become a worry and the enjoyment is turning into a chore. We've decided it's time to stop before it stops us.

    We've made some true friends through craft fairs and have some lovely memories - way back to the Rainbow Fairs with Big Connie on the warpath, and nobody allowed into the marquees one second before time (there would be great long queues of exhibitors and all their stuff waiting for permission to go in - then of course a mad rush). But the fairs were wonderful, and there was a core of people who travelled around the country with their caravans and met up at each fair usually in the grounds of a stately home (the Annes of Pennine Fairs will remember, and to be honest their fairs are the closest to that atmosphere that exist around here now).

    It was £3.50 entrance to the public, which was a lot of money then, and you'd see streams of cars coming down the driveway and there were such massive crowds that in bad weather they had to lay straw in the marquees because of the mud being churned up. In those days we didn't worry about 'would we take our stall fee?' (which could be around £100 a day) - it was accepted that the more stock you had with you, the more you sold. It wasn't unknown for people to sell out.

    Ho Hum, happy days. But even lately in these straightened times we've had some wonderful times. Claire (claireceramic) in her caravan next to ours in a field at Castle Ashby (only the three of us) with the noisy goats fighting all night, will be an abiding memory of a lovely weekend last year.

    Sincere thanks to the Annes for their great events over the past few years and sorry we're not going to be there any more.

    We're not disappearing from the scene - we'll still carry on organising our fairs in Leicestershire and Rutland, and we'll be frequent visitors so hope to see you around. No doubt about it we're craft fair junkies!
    Last edited by Cuckoos Nest; 09-04-2011, 09:41 PM.

  • #2
    That's sad - I do know what you mean though. I do it all on my own, lugging gazebos, tables and boxes of pots into whatever venue I'm at. It's not easy.

    I think I'll give it a few more years yet though, it's preferable to working in a stuffy office with bullying managers!

    Good luck and enjoy the leisure time!


    • #3
      Best of luck to you both Kate, i don't think that i ever met you myself but i have met Mick once or twice ( Longleat live crafts 1997 i think ) . Dos used to call into your shop in Syston with the kids when they were young back in the early 90 when we lived in Thrussington . ( in the 70s and part of the early 80s Dos had the pottery/ craft shop on the green there ).

      Anyway I totally understand your reasons for finishing with the making side of things...and you're right the fairs are just not like they used to be. But it sounds like your fairs are very nice events and well organised so now you have more time to concentrate on that side of things and take some long holidays.

      Dos turned 60 a couple of years ago and is starting to make noises about backing off a bit but that sounds like it means more work for me !!! (so i don't listen ) but seriously pottery is a hard way to earn a living and i'm sure we'll come to the same decision as you before that long.

      Best of luck



      • #4
        I hope all works out right for you both. Don't leave us will you, you have been with us for almost 2 years and we will miss having you around and your imput is valuable. Good luck with your fairs, you have so much experience it would be a waste if you didn't carry on in that direction.
        God helps them that help themselves.


        • #5
          Wishing you well for the future, you know where we are if you want a coffee and chat;-)


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          • #6
            So sorry to hear that Kate. It was lovely being opposite you at the last Penine Fair and such a shame not to see you there anymore.
            (Glad i bought my mushrooms when i did!!!)
            Missing you already! Take care x
            Lisa x
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            • #7
              Good luck Kate - a hard decision to make, I am sure but I wish you both a wonderful future.

              One craft project, like one cookie, is never enough!

              Twitter: @jillspain


              • #8
                A very hard decision for you. I wish you all the best for the future and I'm sorry I won't be able to see you making your fantastic pieces this year. I loved watching you work when I was at Sywell. The stories you must have from all those years of 'doing the fairs' must be amazing!

                I hope we meet again sometime in the future.

                Take care,

                cj x
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                • #9
                  Good luck with your fairs and whatever else you decide to do after making what must have been a heart-wrenching decision. Even when we know what is right to do, it still doesn't make it any easier.

                  Ali x

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                  • #10
                    Hugs and best wishes Kate xx
                    Chris xx
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                    • #11
                      So sorry, Mick & Kate, that you will no longer be with us selling at the Pennine Fair shows, but we shall still see you there as visitors so we can still catch up on the 'gossip'!
                      As usual we will be supporting your craft only events in Leicestershire and wish you well.
                      You and your handmade work will be much missed.
                      The Anns


                      • #12
                        Thanks to everyone for your kind words very much appreciated.

                        Dave (Top Potter) and Dos - I can't believe I've followed your posts on this forum for all this time and never realised who you were - potting in the next village to us way back then. It's a small world indeed. You're right when you say you and I haven't met - it was mostly Mick who did the big fairs at that time while I stayed at home slaving over the next batch!

                        Anyway, the big clear out has started. I've sold the wheel (never did learn to throw any good!) and ten unopened bags of clay on Ebay, and we're currently getting more stuff photographed ready to list when we get back from holiday (two weeks in the sun in Malta, can't wait!)

                        It was great to visit Pennine Hangar One last weekend (strange to be on the other side of the fence though) and catch up with a lot of forum members. Superb fair. See you all again soon.
                        Last edited by Cuckoos Nest; 29-04-2011, 04:11 PM.