Fringe Box



Loseley Shows a Crafty Christmas

Published on: 23 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 23 Nov, 2013
The craft is held in the grounds of Loseley House

The craft is held in the grounds of Loseley House

Part show, part shopping experience, the Crafts for Christmas event at Loseley Park last weekend (November 14-17) marked the start of the festive season.

Mulled wine, decorations, wine, cheese, nuts, Santa shopping bags: all likely to get shoppers in the mood for Christmas, but also a great showcase for rural and traditional crafts. Loseley Park has held this event for many years but last year they brought in the Rural Crafts Association to revamp the show.

Claire Waterhouse - Potter

Claire Waterhouse – Potter

Claire Waterhouse, a potter, said: “I was at the show last year and came again because the Rural Crafts Association promotes traditional, real craft, not like other fairs where much of the goods are imported. There’s been a decline in potters. I’m selling my special Christmas range but I also make bespoke pots.”

This year’s fair was well attended; on Friday the sunny weather meant that the house and grounds presented beautifully. The organisers provide free parking on grassland and lay temporary surfaces to make the marquee accessible to all. Many of the shoppers are elderly, require assistance with mobility or use pushchairs.

basketweaving 475


Crafts for Christmas is more than a pop up shop. Artisans like Claire can be seen making pots or basket weaving, they are available to talk through techniques like jewellery making from old silver cutlery and take individual commissions.

One of the most popular activities is food and wine tasting, but there is also a cafe in the marquee where mulled wine and bacon rolls are popular.

Peter Hall, Rural Crafts Association

Peter Hall, Rural Crafts Association

Peter Hall, Director of Rural Crafts Association, said: “This is our second year at Loseley Park although we’ve been running craft fairs for 25 years. Our first was in Yorkshire however, we are based in Wormley. Loseley asked us here because of our successful event at Windsor. We’ve also organised the craft market that kicks off the Guildford Festival for six years.”

Lynne Hargreaves from Godalming regularly attends Loseley’s craft fair. She said: “I’ve noticed an improved quality in the goods for sale since the Rural Crafts Association has been running the event. The location closer to the house is improved and there is better flooring and heating. It used to be quite muddy in the lower field. That’s a bit off-putting when you’re shopping for Christmas.”

Shopping for Turkish Towels - closing the deal

Shopping for Turkish Towels – closing the deal

The next event at Loseley is A Christmas Carol by Clive Francis. Click here for details.

The Rural Crafts Association’s next show is at Burghley House, Lincolnshire. Click here for their details, including exhibiting at events.

Potter Claire Waterhouse is a local craftswoman based in Milford. She is participating in a Surrey Artists Open Studio in support of Macmillan Cancer Care. Click here for details.

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