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Christmas Farmers Market draws 2,000 visitors

Posted 6 December 2010

Student elves L-R are Rosie Riches and Efa Jones with Jack Bate, aged six and Leah Bate, aged eight, from Newport

Harper Adams Christmas Market was brimming with Christmas cheer as around 2,000 shoppers came to browse the festive stalls.

The West Midlands Regional Food Academy, based at the University College near Newport, was full of stalls and shoppers from 10am to 2pm yesterday for the second farmers market at the campus.

Children and families were also able to visit Father Christmas himself and pick up presents with the help of the elves, and the tractor trailer was dressed in tinsel to take visitors around the farm and campus.

The first farmers market was held in September and organisers excelled themselves by almost doubling the size of the Christmas Farmers Market.

Nearly 50 stalls selling food, drink and crafts from local producers and craftspeople spilled out onto the pavement where the Stafford Grammar School choir and band and Newport Infant School children played and sung traditional carols.

Every stall donated something to a luxury hamper and raffle tickets were sold to raise funds for Farms for City Children.

Primary school children in Shropshire were invited to enter a competition to design a Christmas cake and the winning entry from Gemma Ollivier aged seven, from Newport was on display, made by Jenny David from Harper Adams catering department.

Students dressed as elves were at Santa’s Grotto in the Aspire Centre as part of a project to be assessed for their course.

The Harper Adams Summer Ball committee was selling mulled wine to warm shoppers and help raise funds for the Student Union.

There were displays of butter making by the Victorian Farm Food Company, cupcake creating with Miss Friday cakes and wood turning from local wood carver craftsman Alexander Jungmayr.

Clare Negus and Lizzie Yates of Raspberry House, from the Telford area, were selling their individual and personalised textile artwork, picture frames and home accessories at the market for the first time.

Lois Macdonald from Miss Friday-The Creative Bakery brought along a selection of her hand-made cakes and was offering visitors the chance to create some of their own in a competition.

Shropshire-based florist Ruth Taylor had brought along a selection of her Christmas wreaths, all made using locally sourced products.

She said: “There are lots of people here which is really nice. I came and had a look in September and decided it would be well worth me coming to and having a stall. The music outside is lovely, making it feel a really festive event.”

Event organiser Sue Henderson, said: “The first ever Christmas Farmer’s Market was a complete success.

“There were around 2,000 visitors and we are really pleased the cold, wintry weather didn’t stop people coming to see the wonderful local produce on offer and stock up on goodies for the festive period.

“The two markets held this year have been so successful we are planning our next one for March 27 2011 in conjunction with the annual charity Edgmond 10k run.”

Anyone who would like to know more or have a stall at the event should contact the Harper Adams conferencing department on 01952 815324.

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