Pantry summer 2015 poster_A4 colour-page-0

You’ll soon start to see this notice appearing around the village advertising the Summer Market on 22 August, 10am – 2pm.

We hope this year we’ll get lucky and maybe have some sunshine on the day. Previous summer markets have suffered rain, wind and near floods, but were we downhearted? No! Well, just a bit last year, when we had to eat all the melting ice-cream and drink the Pimms ourselves after all the customers had gone home. It was a great after-party, though!

Anyway, we’ll be back with sun lotion and rainhats on 22 August, and we hope to see you there.


If you’d like to help on the day or with setting up or putting away, please contact Maggie on 01844 237688 or email m.pearce24@btinternet.com.

And stallholders!

If you’d like a stall, or know anyone who would like one, contact us on 01869 320950 or email kenhowardc10@gmail.com.

Of course, it may have to change when we start setting up on the day – every market seems to throw up something unexpected that means we have to rethink our plans at the last minute. But for now, I think this is where you’ll find everything:

Piddington Cottage Garden Plants
Event and Party Essentials
Secondhand Book Stall (if fine)

Large marquee (entrance)
Common Leys Farm
Open Air Foods
Gaia Products (Greek food)
Horton Accessories
The Pantry Raffle

Main hall
General Store
Coffee Shop
Piddington Bakers
Needle & TED
Alex Simmons
Jenni Walker
Richard Walker Photography
Ann Winsome Crafts
Violet’s Allsorts
Piddington’s Community-Led Plan

Small marquee
Waddesdon Deli Company
Beer Stall

We thought we couldn’t fit any more stalls in to the market this Saturday, but then we had requests from two people we’d really love to include, so with a bit of reorganising, tweaking of floor plans and crossing of fingers, we think we’ve managed it.

So as well as all the stalls listed in my earlier post, you’ll find:

Violet’s Allsorts: Linda Thompson will be bringing along candles, bath body scrubs, bath oils, bath bombs and an assortment of soaps, all homemade. The name derives from Linda’s grandmother Violet, who taught her lots of homemade skills, and her usual reply when asked what she makes – ‘All sorts’!

Event and Party Essentials: Lots of exciting and fun things to make your party a success – balloons of all shapes and sizes, face paints, masks, glitter, costumes, party tableware. Come and say hello to Lynda and John – you’re bound to find something you’ve never seen before on their stall.

When we met recently to plan this year’s markets, Chris, our treasurer, started things off by giving us a statement of our current finances.

So, for those of you who like facts and figures, here is the story of The Pantry in round numbers:

Number of Pantry markets held8 (+2 stalls at other markets)

Income – £12,600

Expenditure – £7,100

Surplus – £5,500

This got us thinking about just how much The Pantry has achieved since it started. When a few villagers first got together, in October 2012, with the vague idea of exploring whether a community shop and cafe was feasible in Piddington, we thought a good start might be to hold a Christmas market that villagers would find fun and a bit different. It would help to raise funds and we’d see whether there was any interest.

It’s now April 2015, and The Pantry is still going strong. In fact, at the recent launch event of Piddington’s Community-Led Plan, The Pantry was often mentioned as one of the things people liked about living in our village.

If you’re a frequent visitor, you’ll know how popular these markets are. We advertise them widely, and visitors come from quite far afield, many making a point of telling us how impressed they are to see such a small village put on a regular event like this. The few people who organise The Pantry rely hugely on the enthusiasm and commitment of a much larger band of excellent volunteers, without whom the markets couldn’t happen. The volunteers are mainly (though not exclusively) Piddington villagers.

Of our total income, some is always used to replenish stock and improve subsequent markets. Since we started, for example, we’ve bought a new marquee, which enables us to house more stalls. Expenditure on equipment like this also benefits the village as a whole – the marquee has been used for other village hall events, as has the coffee machine we bought for the Coffee Shop. The remainder is put in the bank, as the foundation of a community shop and cafe fund. If at some point in the future we decide that a shop and/or cafe isn’t going to happen for some reason (unlikely, but possible, I suppose), then all the surplus money raised by The Pantry over the years will be given to other village groups to be used for the benefit of Piddington residents.

So thanks, everyone who has supported the markets so far – and if you haven’t been to The Pantry yet, what are you waiting for? The atmosphere is great, there’s always lots to look at and tasters of food and drink to try and the Coffee Shop is fab. Come to the Spring Market on 18 April, and don’t miss out on something that Piddington is doing so well.

daffs piddington sign

Here’s a roll call of who is coming to The Pantry Spring Market!

Common Leys Farm: New to The Pantry, the farm shop of this well-known local working farm with accommodation and restaurant is selling home produced pies, sausages and burgers.

Gaia Products: If you sampled Vasiliki Ntavertzani’s mouthwatering Greek food at last summer’s Pantry, you’ll know how wonderful it is. If not, you really do need to try it, including her fabulous homemade Greek pastries and health-giving pine and thyme honey, from bees kept by her family in Delphi. And this time, she’ll be selling delicious homemade moussaka, baklava, tzatziki and ‘Greek delight’. Vass is happy for people to order items in advance and collect at the market. Contact her on 07772454411 or gaia.products@outlook.com

GladBags: Handmade bags for all occasions, created by Alison Court entirely out of recycled, reclaimed and rescued fabrics. Only the snappers are new!

Horton Accessories: Chris Cox’s fine-quality accessories are always very popular at The Pantry.

Needle & TED: Vicky Hedger’s handmade tablet and ereader cushions.

Open Air Foods: Another first-timer at The Pantry, this specialist artisan food retailer and catering company champions the handmade and homemade over machines and mass production, and will be offering artisan cheese, home-marinaded olives and other unique items.

Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes. All profits are in aid of St Nicholas’s Church fabric fund.

Alex Simmons: A Piddington resident, Alex sells an eclectic variety of home accessories and gifts, from ceramic tea light holders to reindeer hides.

Tony’s Plants: Beautiful plants propagated by Maggie and Tony, who live in the village.

Waddesdon Deli Company: A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall selling delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more is always buzzing with customers.

Jenni Walker (The Hat Hire Company): Jenni’s is another stall that people really love, with her range of beautiful and affordable jewellery and accessories. Jenni is married to …

Richard Walker Photography: Richard is a photographer who will be selling mounted and framed prints, cards and calendars featuring his work.

Ann Winsome Crafts

In addition, we’ll have two stalls offering information:

Gigaclear: An Oxfordshire-based company who have brought high-speed fibre optic broadband to several villages in the area. They are keen to do the same for Piddington and will be able to answer your questions in an informal setting.

Piddington’s Community-Led Plan: What is it? Why are we doing it? How can I get involved? Find out everything you wanted to know about our new CLP but were afraid to ask.

As well as all these stalls you’ll find the …

General Store: All your favourites, including products from Just Biscuits, Little Shop of Cheese, Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Rosemary’s Jams, and more.

Beer Stall: Local ales from Oxfordshire Ales, Vale Brewery Co. and XT Brewing Co. Tasters available. Make up your own case of ales. Or just come and say hello to Andrew and Ian.

Secondhand Book Stall (if we can fit it in!): Have a rummage and see if you can find that modern first edition that’ll make your fortune. Or ponder over just how many John Grisham fans there can be in one village.

Pantry Raffle: Fantastic prizes! Make sure you buy a ticket!

And last but certainly not least …

The Coffee Shop: Homemade cakes from the Piddington Bakers, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the Cornfield Bakery, legendary bacon and mushroom paninis and baps and more, all served up with frightening efficiency by the dazzling duo of Maggie and Karen and a crack team of volunteers.

Coffee shop collage 1

Well, April’s not quite there, but it won’t be long before we see ‘the lowest boughs … in tiny leaf’*. With spring definitely in the air, we’re turning our thoughts to The Pantry Spring Market.

With the market date this year falling so close to St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday (both on 23 April), we’ve decided to celebrate all that’s special about England.

The posters and flyers are now out – see below.

Pantry spring 2015 poster_A4-page-0-1

Everyone has their own take on Englishness, and their own ideas about what gives England its character. Is it our sense of justice and fairplay? Our willingness to stand up for the underdog and be a place of refuge for those that need it? Our ability to queue? Morris dancing? Or our certainty that absolutely anything can be made better with a nice cup of tea?

The English are particularly proud (if that’s not too strong a term for people who tend to distrust such emotions) of their sense of humour – the drier the better. We are experts at laughing at ourselves while at the same time fiercely appreciating all that we consider good and valuable in our country. And it’s that spirit we want to celebrate in the next market.

So do come along to the Spring Market on 18 April. We can’t promise Morris dancing, but we can offer you an array of local produce, some proper home-made English cakes, a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Can’t say fairer than that, now, can I, guv?

* Rupert Brooke, ”Home Thoughts from Abroad’


Are you a local craftsperson, supplier of locally sourced food or drink, or something similar, looking for a new outlet to sell your wares?

The Pantry always welcomes new stallholders, as this helps make each market a unique event. So if you’re tempted, or know of anyone – either foodie or crafty – who might be interested in selling their wares at The Pantry, please contact us on 01869 320950 or email kenhowardc10@gmail.com.

The fee for a stall is a very reasonable £10, and we usually do get a good number of potential customers coming to each market.

Of course, we’re very happy to see lots of old friends too, so if you’ve had a stall at a previous market but haven’t been for a while, do get in touch if you’d like to come again.

If you can’t make the date of the next market (18 April), dates for the remaining markets in 2015 are: 8 August and 5 December.


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