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Bishop’s Stortford Christmas Fayre: Your comments on the town’s big festive event

Town council organisers of Saturday’s Bishop’s Stortford Christmas Fayre are reflecting on a successful event – but what did you make of it? On Facebook we asked residents, visitors from out of town, stallholders and entertainers for their comments, and here’s what they said…

A great success again – well done, all who organised it. My son (who lives in Berkshire but grew up in Bishop’s Stortford) and grandchildren were visiting and had a super time. He thought it was an excellent community event and was good to experience in his home town. Well done to St Michael’s [Primary School] for opening their playground for car parking; really convenient for town – Lesley Marshall

It was my first time and I was pleasantly surprised by the festive atmosphere enjoyed by all, especially the children, who found lots of activities and food to be had. I enjoyed particularly the Rock Choir in Market Square, the decorations of the shops and Florence Walk – Orestina Fabiani

The annual Christmas Fayre is organised by the town council. Pic: Vikki Lince
The annual Christmas Fayre is organised by the town council. Pic: Vikki Lince

We love it every year. Hats off to all the stallholders for being out in the freezing weather. It does get very busy. If there was an option to do it over two days that would be fab – we would go both days! So nice to see such a buzz in the town – Maddie Daines-Smith

It was absolutely heaving – what a great event! Lovely and Christmassy with many of the stalls raising money for good causes – Debbie Trigg

After the dark days of Covid lockdowns and all the other horrible things going on, was nice to see people enjoying a vibrant Christmas market – Tony Claxton

Could it have been busier and better at the southern end of South Street? Pic: Vikki Lince
Could it have been busier and better at the southern end of South Street? Pic: Vikki Lince

We loved it! A good mixture of freebies and things to pay for. Well done, Bishop’s Stortford – Louisa Layer

Well, we got to town about 9.45am and didn't leave until 3.30pm, so I would say that was a successful day! – Sophie Martin

The stallholders: ‘My first time and such a lovely event… My third year, my least busy and probably my last’

Was such a lovely event. I was there as a stallholder for the first time. The organisation involved to get us all set up in time was so well organised. Loved seeing Stortford alive with so many people. Well done to you all – Lara Laycock, From the Heart (Henham)

As a stallholder it’s a lovely Christmas market. Lots of great stalls and lots of great local shoppers. Somewhat chilly, so thank you to everyone who came out and supported us all. Lots to do for the children, so a good family day out – Stephanie Bridgewater, Rickling Candle Company

My third year with my stall and unfortunately it was my least busy. I was put right at the bottom of South Street and it didn't seem busy at all. Guess there were more people in the middle, which is where I've been previously and been much more successful. There was no music down my end either so not much of an atmosphere. Quite disappointing from my point of view, probably the last year I'll do it unfortunately – Fiona Stretton-Emerson, One Jewellery

The performers: ‘Brilliant atmosphere, terrific crowd... got me in the festive spirit’

A brilliant atmosphere and loved performing with the Rock Choir. We were supported by a terrific crowd – Linda Burton

Loved performing on top of Host. Lovely atmosphere, although not as busy as previously, possibly due to the biting cold, but nice bustle around the place. Definitely got me in the festive spirit – Lucy Miller

As a performer, freezing! But great atmosphere, lots of great stalls and a warm welcome in the shops – Sarah Ficken, Woodwind of Stortford

Loved entertaining people at the Christmas Fayre. Lots of people passing by, smiling or stopping to listen to a song or two – Carole Hudson, Bishop’s Stortford Ukulele Society

Loved it. We really enjoyed the ukulele society, the brass band and the duo [Cider at Yours] doing Beautiful South songs. It was great having so many stalls that were selling handmade or local products as well. I was really impressed – Georgie Whim

The pedestrians: ‘Really nice not to have to worry about traffic… but more bins please’

It was lovely, reminded me of the old market days. Crowded, yes, but everyone was polite to each other. It was really nice not to have to worry about traffic too – Susanna Dixon

Really great to have the town centre car-free for the day and to see so many people out enjoying the atmosphere. It would be great if market days every week were car-free along South Street and Potter Street as well – Edward James

Enjoyed it. Busy, but it was dead compared to the German Christmas markets! Loved the live music, and the street being pedestrianised was brilliant – Sarah Conroy

Enjoyed it but could have done with more bins – the ones that were there were already overfilling at 2pm – Joe Viswam

The parents: ‘It was nice… but those prices!’

It was nice and we enjoyed visiting. Well done to the the stallholders for beating the cold. We really enjoyed visiting Father Christmas and the charity stalls. I was quite shocked by the price of kids’ rides and hook-a-duck, so we could not do many unfortunately – Solene Danse

Fantastic turnout but outrageous prices for kids’ entertainment: £5 for hook a duck and £3.50 to throw three balls at the tin cans – Richard Branchflower

The people who found it just too much...

It was overly busy – so busy we turned back and went home. When two buggies have ploughed into your calves and you can't stop for fear of being mowed down, that's busy! Needs to be over the weekend. Was brilliant otherwise – Lisa May Merry

I had four children with me. We parked easily and enjoyed the day – we even got a table for five at Cafe Mocha. Wish it was like it every weekend – Duncan Bridgen

Good fun, but it’s just got way too busy – couldn’t move through the crowds. Love the vibe, but they need to spread out the stalls further down the high street and have more space between them to make it more enjoyable as we couldn’t pass easily at all (I said the same last year). I appreciate the organisers putting it on though as it was good fun, especially for the kids – Carly Louise Crossley

It was packed, which really made it a rather unpleasant experience. The one-and-a-half hours I spent there I literally battled my way through masses of people, which was very frustrating. Perhaps having it over two days would be a better idea – Anna Buczak

I didn't think it was nearly as busy as last year, and seemed to be fewer stalls along South Street. Good atmosphere though – Rev Gill Hulme, Bishop’s Stortford Methodist Church

It was nice, extremely busy though. Think the stalls could have been spaced out much better, and potentially more similar stalls close together, like a food area or something, then kids area etc (there was a bit of this with the fairground rides) – Chloe Ribeiro

The huge inflatable and fair should really be at the very end of [North Street] so that people can get to stalls more easily. The big pink house blocks out the view down the street – Reuben Cornell

The people with a few pointers for next year’s event…

Great fair, nice to see Stortford so busy. It must be good for all the retail shops as well. More gift stalls and fewer foodie stalls would be better – there’s only so much you can eat! They could have used South Street better. An area to sit and eat all the lovely food would be good. Perhaps the foodie stalls could go onto the old car park and be a food court? – Julie Nassau

It was great, but why not use the old car park behind Waitrose that’s not in use for parking or more stalls? It’s a no brainer – Susie Hutchins Shawyer

Please use the [Causeway] car park for the Christmas fair next year if it has not been developed – Agnes Margaret Groves

It was packed but felt there should have been more craft/gift stalls, and more entertainment/music would have helped South Street end as it was quieter. Love attending every year but was very disappointed with the lack of lights and decorations – Kathy Tye

It’s a shame the charity groups were asked to pay £30 for a pitch. The Salvation Army provide presents to children each year free and rely on donations. If they had been given a pitch they could have achieved their aim of reaching 150 local families this December by raising awareness of what they do. A little empathy and a free pitch where there were loads of gaps would have helped them enormously – Alison Mitchell

Disappointed. Too many food stalls and not enough crafts or things to buy. Very run-of-the-mill crafts. Would like to see really good quality and original various crafts. Things that would make ideal Christmas gifts – Marilyn O’Donoghue

The out-of-towners who loved it...

Was brilliant there. Glad me and my two friends went. Loads of stalls too. We came from Harlow – shame our town doesn't do this – Sue Williamson

Splendid event: man from Stansted much inspired – Alan Dean

And finally...

This is how Bishop’s Stortford should be. Once was a proper market town! – Fiona Hornett

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