PICTURES: Shoppers enjoy taste of Germany at Preston St Mary festive fair

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn.
Pic - Richard Marsham
Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn. Pic - Richard Marsham

Shoppers were given a taste of a traditional German festive market in Preston St Mary at the weekend.

Villagers from far and wide visited especially for the annual Christkindlmarkt on Saturday, as the festive event is known in Germany.

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn.
Pic - Richard Marsham

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn. Pic - Richard Marsham

“There was a very warm atmosphere and we had a lot of people who said they really enjoyed it,” said Janet Martin, committee member of The Friends of Preston St Mary Church.

“They had come from quite a long way because they had heard about the fair.”

The event has been running for 20 years after a villager visited a festive market in Germany and wanted to replicate the tradition.

The festive market is organised by a group from The Friends of Preston St Mary Church who are responsible for putting the proceeds from the event into a maintenance fund to cover the repair costs on the church’s building structure.

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn.
Pic - Richard Marsham

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn. Pic - Richard Marsham

“It’s like having a house because we have to keep it in good nick and find the funds for it,” said Mrs Martin.

Stalls selling a range of gifts lined the Preston Priory barn, where the market was held.

Tasty treats included burgers and sausages as well as glühwein, which is a German-style mulled wine.

Goods on offer ranged from jewellery, home-made cakes and cards as well as festive decorations.

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn.
Pic - Richard Marsham

Visitors enjoy the Chriskindlmrkt at Preston Manor Barn. Pic - Richard Marsham

There was also a raffle and a draw with a £150 prize for the lucky shopper with the winning number.

Mrs Martin said there was always a good community spirit every year, with villagers always happy to lend a hand.

“It’s quite a big operation now and we can rely on villagers to help us.”