The Second Bench – finally!

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Very pleased to announce that the second bench has now been installed in Chorlton Precinct. This one is dedicated to aviation duo, Alcock and Brown who were the first pair to fly across the Atlantic. Thanks again to all our Kickstarter backers for making this happen. We look forward to revealing some other suprises soon!

Cosgrove Hall statues

We have the next bench ready to go into the precinct any day soon. The wait has been long so I am going to feel quite relieved when it is finally there. The story behind how this bench theme came to be decided on is, for me, slightly tainted, but its a much too boring story to recount here. The bench is dedicated to aviation duo, Alcock and Brown and despite my reservations about the theme, Mike Burgess has done a fantatic job on it.

My original goal was to use some of the Kickstarter money to create something to honour to work of Cosgrove Hall Animations stuidos which, in its hay day, was based in Chorlton. It has always amazed me that there isn’t already something here dedicated to them. When I look back on my own childhood, Cosgrove Hall cartoons figure highly in my memory: Jamie and his Magic Torch, Danger Mouse and Count Duckula, as well as the wonderful Wind in the Willows and The BFG adaptations. And, of course, Chorlton and the Wheelies. My proposal is to have 3 carved wooden statues of the most iconic of the characters situated around Chorlton town centre. Who would not love to see Danger Mouse outside the Post Office or Count Duckula outside the library?!

This goal is proving the hardest to achieve – but I will not be beaten! Since November I have been trying to obtain permission regarding the Intellectual Property rights of the Cosgrove Hall characters – I obviously don’t want to spend a large chunk of the money on a Dangermouse statue only to be told that we would not be allowed to display it in public. Unfortunately, at the moment, Fremantle Media (who own the rights to the CH characters) have rejected my request, citing various reasons which don’t really make sense. I’m really hoping that they will be able to realise that my proposed plan could have a fantastic impact on Chorlton, and in turn could generate good publicity for themselves.

I never would of imagined that it would be so hard to sort this out, but I won’t give up until it happens.

Community Index interview

I have an interview about the markets in this month’s Chorlton Community Index – online version here: http://t.co/ywstGPl1hi

Tell us about yourself, outside of your work in the markets

I am a mother of one with a passion for country music, Fred Astaire and goats cheese.  I like to sew and paint whilst admiring my collection of vintage 80’s Care Bears.

What inspired you to start an Art Market in Chorlton?

As someone who has sold at hundreds of markets and craft fairs over the years, it was always my dream to run an event of my own – but one where the organisers actually cared about the traders.  I had sold at many events where it was clear that very little thought had been given to the people who were selling, and where businesses selling similar items had been allocated pitches side by side, and where the overall quality of the work varied hugely.  I wanted to create events where the traders were the priority because, after all, it wouldn’t be much of a market without good and happy traders.

After having a baby in 2011, I made the decision to give up my previous career in mental health and decided to focus on this vision.  My plan was to create a high quality art market – I realised that Chorlton is packed with loads of fantastic artists and designers and I wanted to facilitate an opportunity for them to sell their work.  There are a lot of talented people here, with great products and branding, and yet I know how hard it is to survive by just selling online.

Tell us about the upcoming community market

After a lot of hard work and two successful trial markets in Chorlton precinct last year, Chorlton Art Market, has now moved to its lovely new home at The Post Box Café.  This has made the organising and the running of the market a lot smoother and a much more enjoyable experience than it was last year!

This has now led to plans for another new market, The Chorlton Community Market which we hope will be a great opportunity for local charities/organisations to raise awareness/support for their causes.  We would also like small online businesses to use the market to provide a ‘face’ for their customers.

How’s it been going?

There is so much planning to be done!  I have sent so many emails over the past couple of weeks, but it all seems to be paying off finally.  Things are looking good.

You’re an artist yourself, tell us about your own art/stall

My brand is Patchwork Papillon and I make personalised Scrabble pictures, as well as patchwork quilts and bags.  Although I have been making things for many years, it is my lovely daughter who gives me my inspiration now.

What are your plans for the future?

We are now planning some exciting themed events for the Art Market throughout the year, with Textile special and a ‘Home & Garden’ market coming up soon.  You can read more about the history of the market, along with updates on our Kickstarter project here:https://chorltonartmarket.wordpress.com/.You will also find a full line up of our stall holders each month on our Facebook page.  Please email Alice at: chorltonartmarket@gmail.com if you would like to find out more about becoming a trader with us.

Plans Ahoy!

After months of waiting, it seems like plans regarding Project Precinct are finally moving forwards.

Yesterday, I met with a couple of nice chaps from the new property managers of Chorlton precinct to update them with everything and to discuss how to move to the next stage.  They informed me that although the new owners (The Greater Manchester Pension Fund) have bought the precinct with the view to completly redevelop it, this is not going to happen any time soon.  This has made me breath a sigh of relief – after months of worrying and holding back from making any decisions, I can now get back to action.

It has been very frustrating for me because things have been so uncertain over the last few months.  The root of all my plans stem from wanting to make the precinct a nicer place to be – this was the reason behind both the Kickstarter campaign and the Art Market and it was beginning to seem like my plans might not happen.  But I feel more positive that I can now fulfil my original Kickstarter pledge and make it all happen and it is all very exciting (I must try not to get carried away – have I not learnt anything in the last few months?!).  I just want people to be aware that this is a project that I am constantly working on and one which I will not give up on. 

Anyway, on to market news.  Our ‘Baby, Child & Family’ Art Market special took place last saturday – a fantastic event which incorporated a great mix of local artists and designers.  As always, my key focus is quality and I think this was very evident when everybody was set up.  We were also treated to incredible weather which suited us all nicely!  You can see another nice write up and photos on Ghosltly Tom’s blog: http://t.co/IHpO1kVgIJ

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