The first ever Create Henley festival took place over the weekend and was a great success the organisers have said. The festival was organised by Councillor Pam Phillips, Vanessa Blogg from Lady Sew & Sew, Peter McConnell; Town Centre Manager, Madeleine Marston from Friday Street Events, Lynne Lambourne and Sarah Kirk from Love Local.
There was a range of things visitors could enjoy including a Love Local market where local artisans were selling an array of jewellery, pictures, home furnishings to name just a few. The Love Local market was held in the Town Hall over both days. It is the second market of its kind and it is the brainchild of Lynne Lambourne and Sarah Kirk two Henley based designers passionate about the talent in the area. Their vision is to give home grown artisans and designer-makers the opportunity to showcase their creativity without having the expense of setting-up a shop.
There were also sewing and painting workshops, demonstrations on felt making and tapestry weaving, an art exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery and a talk by local interior designer, Niki Schafer, on ‘How to create your dream home’ on Saturday afternoon.
Lady Sew and Sew’s warehouse in Farm Road was open over the weekend selling their beautiful fabrics and needlecraft supplies as well as running some great sewing workshops to make bunting, colourful trees and cute owls. They were also running knitting workshops to create squares to cover the Create rowing boat which will be completed ready for the Henley Arts Trail weekend on 3-5 May. This Henley business is truly a family affair, it is headed up by Vanessa Blogg and her Mum, Joy, sisters; Judy and Sarah, and Brother-in-Law Jon are all in the business. On Saturday, Vanessa said, “It was wall to wall people here throughout the day – we even welcomed a coach load of people from Peterborough who then went on to spend some time in Henley afterwards.”
Masked abstract artist Paul Street Art Drop Letts also ‘dropped’ into the festival on Saturday. He was in Market Square creating some very unique original art and the Mayor, Stefan Gawrysiak joined him to give him a helping hand.
Michaela from Create ‘n Make ran three workshops for children to make something special for their Mums for Mother’s Day. They had a choice of things they could decorate which included a little wooden wheelbarrow with chocolates in, a heart trinket dish and a tealight holder. The children also made a very realistic rose out of crepe paper. Michaela said afterwards, “It was lovely to see so many children making a unique gift for their Mum and I’ve had some lovely feedback from the Mum’s on their presents.”
“It’s been a great first festival and it was fantastic to see so many people, both young and old enjoying all the events and activities”, said Councillor Pam Phillips.