PICTURES: Craft makers showcase creations for thousands of visitors at Clare Priory
Clare Priory continued its long-running celebration of local arts and crafts, as it attracted around 11,000 visitors for its annual craft fair over the weekend.
The sun-soaked family event, which has been running for more than 25 years, saw approximately 160 exhibitors showcase 140 different artisan crafts all around the eight-acre site throughout Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, entertainment such as Paul Pleasant’s Punch and Judy, Morris dancers, a magic show, a barbershop quartet and live music performed for the families in attendance, with Radio Suffolk broadcasting from the 14th century priory on Sunday morning.
Proceeds raised during the occasion are set to be divided between various charities and community groups, including St Nicholas Hospice Care, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, Clare Playing Fields, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Cavendish Care, the Bridge Project, Macmillan Cancer Trust, the Christopher Centre, One World Group and the Reach Foodbank.
Father David Middleton, Clare parish priest, said: “The Craft Fair weekend is a special time in Clare Priory’s year.
“As a retreat house and a parish, we have visitors all the time, but never in such numbers.
“The craft fair is always a tremendous draw because of the range and quality of exhibits, and the friendly family atmosphere and the fun. It is such a happy weekend.”
This year’s event was also captured over two days by television cameras, with plans to use the footage to produce a documentary at some point in the future.
Auriol Lamb Cubitt, one of the guides who provided tours of Clare Priory over the weekend, added: ‘There was a great response to the invitation to tour the award-winning church.
“The tours went very well on both days, with a real interest in the history of the priory and the building of the church.”