Blickling Hall craft fair scrapped

A long-running spring craft fair at north Norfolk's flagship stately home has been scrapped after stallholders shunned an earlier than normal date.The popular event was traditionally held at Blickling Hall over Easter, but was switched to the end of March this year.

A long-running spring craft fair at north Norfolk's flagship stately home has been scrapped after stallholders shunned an earlier than normal date.

The popular event was traditionally held at Blickling Hall over Easter, but was switched to the end of March this year.

However the uptake on from standholders was slow, so it had been cancelled, said a spokesman for organisers Eastern Events.

The company, which began at Blickling 16 years ago, had expanded to five major craft fairs across the country, from Cambridgeshire to Derbyshire.

Spokesman Charlotte Wootten said they were disappointed at having to cancel the spring event at Blickling as it was 'an old friend'.

But they were still promoting the Magic of Christmas weekend there, and had not ruled out returning with an earlier craft show.

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The 120-stand Easter event they were now preparing for Hyde End in Buckinghamshire was bigger than the 80-stand Blickling one.

Aylsham-based Eastern Events had been splitting itself between Hyde End and Blickling over Eastern during the past four years, but had decided to concentrate on the larger one.

Efforts to re-arrange the Blickling fair for March 27-29 had not come off.

Mrs Wootten added: 'We have not seen a significant reduction in books at other shows, though standholders are maybe booking for one or two events rather than four - they are treading carefully like we all are at the moment.'

The problem with the Blickling one had been the early date. 'I am sure the weather from last year at that time - when we had snow - put some people off,' she said.

Eastern Events also ran a craft weekend at Felbrigg Hall for a decade, but had not done so for a couple of years, because it had been linked to a car rally which was also weather dependent.

National Trust spokesman Jemma Finch said it was also disappointed about the cancellation but that there were plenty of other things for visitors to do at Blickling's house and grounds.