Who’s coming?

VH Xmas Pantry pic

The posters are all out in the village and surrounding area – you can’t miss our new enormous banners on the A41 – so here’s the roll call of stallholders who’ll be at this year’s Christmas Market this coming Saturday. There are several new people as well as your old favourites, so come along and say hello.

Zena Ashdown: Gorgeous and affordable handbags

Jennie Bosher: Handmade decorations and cards, knitted cushions and toys

Kathy Chalk: Individually designed decorative glass pieces, unique gifts and decorations

Horton Accessories: Fine accessories for women, men and the home

Kim’s Jewels: Fun and affordable jewellery and scarves

Colin Nicholls: Handmade pottery items – NEW

Paul’s Cards: Phoenix Christmas and birthday cards, stationery and gifts

Pea Green Designs: Eclectic home accessories and gifts

Piddington Bakers: Village community stall selling delicious homemade cakes and bakes in aid of St Nicholas’s Church

Piddington Patchers: Beautiful patchwork and needlecraft items including cushions, door stops, draft excluders and table runners, handmade by Piddington’s regular patchwork group

Natalie Roach and Gail Church: Driftwood Christmas decorations and wooden rocking horses – NEW

William Rolls Ceramics: Salt-glazed earthenware ceramic sculptures inspired by nature – NEW

Waddesdon Deli : A Pantry regular, Sandy’s stall sells delicious home-cured and home-smoked produce, cheeses and more

We also have the following regular attractions …

Beer Stall: Local ales from Vale Brewery Co., XT Brewing Co. and, NEW THIS MARKET, Loddon Brewery and The Shotover Brewing Co.

General Store: Including products from the Cornfield Bakery, Jim and Jules, Shaken Oak Mustard, our own Piddington Village Apple Juice, and our own Piddington Apple Chutney, both made from fruit grown in the village

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

Secondhand Book Stall: You never know what gems you’ll find. Have a rummage, and see if you can identify what the book group have been reading recently

And last but certainly not least, it’s the …
Coffee Shop: Homemade cakes from the Piddington Bakers, croissants and pain-au-chocolat from the Cornfield Bakery, legendary bacon and mushroom baps and more, all served up with frightening efficiency by the dazzling duo of Maggie and Karen and a crack team of volunteers

If you haven’t been to The Pantry before, come and see why it’s so popular. If you’re a Pantry regular – I’ll see you at the Coffee Shop!

Christmas is coming

There’s no avoiding it: every magazine and newspaper has its Christmas Gift and ‘Countdown to Christmas’ features, encouraging us all to shop online and have items sent from large warehouses all over the country, and we are already starting to panic at the glitzy sparkle of the John Lewis and M&S TV ads (or is that just me?).

But what if there were a better way to shop for Christmas? A place just around the corner, where you can buy gifts for the whole family from the people who have made them, or stock up on locally made festive food and drink while chatting to your friends over a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake made by one of your neighbours? Where the money you spend goes back into the local community rather than into a faceless corporation?

Of course, you’re reading this, so you know what I’m talking about – at The Pantry Christmas Market you’ll discover a different way of starting your Christmas preparations. We’ve tried to bring together everything you need under one roof, so you can shop for gifts, food, drink, order your turkey and buy your fairy lights without the hassle of fighting the crowds (or the online ordering system) or struggling to find somewhere to park.

Look at the photo below, taken at last year’s Christmas Market. Don’t you just feel the Christmas spirit? Come along on 7 December, between 10am and 2pm and be part of our village Christmas celebrations.

Christmas Market, 2012
Christmas Market, 2012

Mutual support is good for everyone

Driving back from Sandford Market this morning with a couple of friends, having had a delicious breakfast, chatted to some people who have supported The Pantry in the past (hello Jill!) and picked up some local bread and meat, plus a few Christmas stocking fillers for the family (including me!), we got to talking about how our visit had not only been enjoyable but also had given us the chance to look at The Pantry with fresh eyes.

I must say, we all felt a great sense of pride in what has been achieved in Piddington over the last year – a bit like proud parents, I suppose. Seeing the buzz of activity at Sandford, we marvelled at how the people who organise it manage to put on a market every week – hats off to them for an amazing effort!

It also gave us fresh heart and the impetus we needed to start pulling together our Christmas Market on 7 December. At this dank, dreary time of year, it’s all too easy to stay indoors, huddled over the fire, and ignore anything that needs a bit of effort. Visiting the market this morning brought home to us all just how important it is to resist these tendencies and support all the people who are working so hard to bring life to their communities. I wrote in an earlier piece about how volunteering can be good for your health. We decided this morning that mutual support like this can have huge benefits for the health of a community – and of course you can have great fun while you’re doing it.

So please look out for those local community markets and go along for a coffee or to buy a few things. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are lots of event-listing websites, e.g. Where Can We Go? And, of course, don’t forget to come along and support your very own community market on 7 December, 10am til 2pm. It’ll be great!

Our very first market, Christmas 2012.
Our very first market, Christmas 2012.

Summer Market photos

Here are a few photographs from the Summer Market, which, I think you’ll agree, give a flavour of the fantastic atmosphere on the day. Thank you, John, for taking them.

Phew, what a scorcher! Cool off with Pimm’s at The Pantry

There’ll also be The Piddington Bakers, strawberries and cream, news about the transformation of Widnell Park into a nature reserve and details of how you can help, lots of new stallholders and some old favourites, delicious things to buy and, of course, the popular coffee shop with its fantastic bacon baps.

Why would you want to spend a sunny Saturday morning anywhere else?

And, once again, please don’t worry about the road closure signs – all roads into Piddington will be accessible.

Pantry poster 4 summer for printing A4_A5-page-0

Who is coming?

Here is the current list of what’s on offer at The Pantry Summer Market. It should be great – now all we need is summer to stay around for a little bit longer.

And please be assured that all roads into Piddington will be accessible – the local council have been very accommodating, and have made sure we have free access at weekends. So do come along – and, to make a perfect day of it in our lovely corner of the world, why not go on to Ludgershall Fete afterwards?

You can make the list bigger by clicking on the rectangle at the bottom right; clicking on a link will take you to the supplier’s website.

We’re still here!

Anyone driving around Piddington in the last few days can’t fail to have noticed all the road closure signs that have sprung up like weeds after rain. Not to mention the barriers across the roads into the village, which are often held by stern road workers who stop nervous travellers, asking fiercely where they’re going before allowing them to pass.

The reason for this quarantining is, fortunately, not plague but road resurfacing. We villagers are starting to feel a bit cut off from the rest of the world – and sometimes from the rest of the village, as we’re unable to leave our house when the work is being done in front of it.

But if you’re deciding that venturing into the lost world of Piddington on 8th June will just be too nerve-wracking, please don’t worry. There will be access to the village hall on the day, and in any case, the road works aren’t happening at all in Ludgershall Road, where the hall is located, so even in the worst case scenario, you could still reach us easily by coming via Ludgershall.

We just have a couple of details to finalise, and then I’ll post a list of who’ll be coming to the market and what products we’ll have for sale.

And don’t forget, you can preorder from Bucksum, Debbie’s Home Cooked Food and JM Walman, and collect your goods on the day. (Contact details are in the previous post.)