Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Fair at Lower Shaw Farm

Jane Stephens's tie dyed babygros

Jam jar lanterns lit a frost encrusted pathway to a magical world of mince pies, mulled wine and crafts at the Lower Shaw Farm Christmas Fair last evening.  The former calving sheds were transformed into an Aladdin's cave of handmade gifts - everything from knitted garments and toys to felt bags, pot holders and super sparkly jewellery - for that special Christmas gift.

A farm has stood on this site in Old Shaw Lane since at least the 17th century.  In 1710/11 Thomas Strange left the tenancy of the farm to his niece Bridget Tuckey and her brother Richard 'to share and share alike.'  At the beginning of the 19th century the 136 acre dairy farm was owned by the Earls of Shaftesbury and in the 1970s the land was purchased by the local authority as part of the 1980s West Swindon development.  Fortunately the farmhouse and 3 acres of land remain, the long time home of Matt Holland, Andrea Hirsch and the Lower Shaw Farm Community.

Stallholders last night included Jane Stephens, co-ordinator of the Knitting Circle, which meets at the farm the second Monday of each month.  Along with her knitted items for sale Jane had a selection of colourful tie dyed baby clothes.  Her next door neighbour was Maria Jones of the Tuesday Craft Group with a table top full of Christmas decorations and toys.

Sarah Thomson was selling glass chopping boards formed from recycled wine bottles.  Sarah, a 3rd year student in Architectural Stained Glass at Swansea Metropolitan University  was recently highly commended for her submission in  a World Skills UK competition. If you would like to know more about Sarah's innovative work you can email her on

Next event on the LSF December calender is Carols by Candlelight, a fund raising event for homeless people in Swindon, 6-7.30 Saturday December 8 - £5 for adults and £2 for children.

Visit the Lower Shaw Farm website to find out more about what's on.

Maria Jones of the Tuesday Craft Group

Elena Rossi and her handy pot holders

Sue Leonard's jewellery

Sarah Thomson

Helen Flinders - multidisciplinary artist - bespoke commissions, original artwork and prints -

Welcome to the world of Rosa Bloom - a boutique of curiosities!

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