Thousands go to Weald and Downland Museum market

The busy market square ''Picture by Louise Adams C131549-4 Chi Weald And Downland
The busy market square ''Picture by Louise Adams C131549-4 Chi Weald And Downland

THOUSANDS of visitors flocked to this year’s Weald and Downland Open Air Museum’s Christmas market to get started on their seasonal.

With donkeys, hot dogs, burgers, chestnuts, music, and gifts for all tastes and ages, there was something for everyone at the two-day market in Singleton.

There were more than 120 trade stands, and tickets also included access to all the museum exhibits.

Traders included Petworth-based eatery the Hungry Guest, which had sold out of all its goods by Saturday afternoon.

Chloe and George Rice had to spend the evening baking and preparing for another day of successful selling.

Bosham-based company Chi Africa Ltd, run by Joe Hepworth, also proved popular with shoppers.

The business, which visits RHS flower shows across the country, showcased its wares – intricately detailed sculptures made from recycled metal.

Lisa Scott was another stallholder promoting her business, Slate Inspired, based in Selsey.

“This is my second year in business, so my second Christmas market,” Lisa said.

“It is really exciting to be at these events.”

Queues for the delicious food snaked around the site where shoppers were offered all sorts of cuisine at the stalls, from noodles to burgers.

The weekend’s entertainment came courtesy of various orchestras and bands, including the Sussex Folk Orchestra and the Big Pyramid Woodwind Band.

Kate Russell is the newly-appointed communications manager at the museum.

She praised the volunteers and staff who made the market 
such a success.

Kate said: “We had 5,000 people attend on Saturday alone, and record numbers over the weekend.

“This year, the fifth the market has been running, was absolutely superb.

“The main reason for the event is to put a spotlight on the museum, but in a different way.

“We make full use of the site, and it is rather unique how all the buildings are used for varying trade stands.

“The majority of our stall holders are local – we like to promote crafts and producers from around Sussex and the South Downs.

“Everyone worked incredibly hard.

“Volunteers and staff really get stuck in, enabling the event to happen.

“We were also keen to keep all the roads open around the site and help cars get parked quickly.”

For more information about the museum and upcoming events, visit www.wealddown.co.uk.