In addition to our static boat accommodation, and creating our painted ceramics and wooden items for sale, Crafty Boaters also organises and runs three craft markets per year. two at Christmas that are held over three venues: The New Inn Hotel, The Riverside, and The Tea Chest, and one market in mid Summer in Lechlade-on-Thames. Each market is held over two whole weekends, and one of the Christmas Markets usually coincides with the Lechlade Christmas Lights Switch On event.
How the Christmas Market was started
In 2020, many craft fairs were cancelled due to covid 19. In November of that year we realised that many of the Christmas fairs and markets were also going to be cancelled, which meant many of our crafting friends did not have an outlet to sell their crafts. This led Crafty Boaters to setting up their own socially distanced craft fair in the car park at The New Inn Hotel, Lechlade.
We set up two weekend Christmas Markets that were held in December 2020. The stalls were outside under gazebos that were provided by the sellers themselves or borrowed from friends and relatives. There were just sixteen stalls manned by local crafters and the owner of a newly set up florist in Lechlade whose shop was unable to open due to covid restrictions. It was a success, with a steady flow of local buyers.
Crafty Boaters Summer Market
As a result, we were asked whether we were going to consider running any more markets, so in the Summer of 2021 the Crafty Boaters Summer market was organised and held outdoors under gazebos on The New Inn Lawn. This time we had twenty two sellers. Again, the market was well attended for such a small market, so we decided that we would continue to run Summer Market and a Christmas Market every year for the people of Lechlade.
Our Christmas Market for 2021 has had such a good response from sellers, that we have now expanded to two further venues; The Tea Chest and The Riverside, and we will have over thirty stalls for each market (please see the main market page for details of the next market).
Donations are made from the market to the local Lechlade Lions Club, and the The New Inn Hotel, The Riverside, and The Tea Chest kindly donate their venues for free.