The biennial Christmas Fair at Guildhall is one of the major fund-raising events for the British Red Cross and the Feltmakers were there again in force this year. Thanks to the generosity of many milliners, retailers and individual donors, our stall was once again fully stocked with many wonderful hats.
The Master started working on the Fair as early as April, contacting nearly 40 milliners and retailers and asking for donations. Despite poor economic conditions, we had more willing donors than ever responding generously to the Master’s request. We received a superb and varied selection, including designer millinery, contemporary casual, vintage formal, felt, tweed, sinamay, waxed cotton and straw and just about every colour imaginable.
We had valuable assistance from Past Master Susan Wood, who stored many hats at her home which had been delivered from Luton, and after collecting additional hats from many donors around London , she delivered them to Guildhall together with all the display equipment, on Sunday, in order to prepare the stand ready for the official opening the following evening. As with previous shows, she very generously transported the unsold hats together with the display equipment back to her home for storage after the fair in anticipation of the next event in two years time. John Horn, also gave great assistance by packing and transporting a great number of hats from the Luton area.
The stall was manned throughout by our energetic Master, ably supported by her husband George who was kept very busy counting all the money. The rest of the team included Past Master Geoffrey and Catherine Farr, Elaine Howard, Brian and Jackie Minnighan, their daughter Sarah and her partner Rob, Joyce Nash, Caroline Sinclair-Smith (wife of new Liveryman Colin Smith), Jane Way and Susan Wood.
Susan’s friend Philippa Blake-Roberts also came to help on Tuesday afternoon. We appreciated greatly the fellow Liverymen who called in to encourage us and in some cases to buy too! We expect to see some very smart hats at the Carol Service.
We were delighted to welcome the Lady Mayoress onto the stand on Preview Night and the Lord Mayor the following day. Lord Fellowes, who formally opened the show together with his wife, both came to speak to the Master and we had a very steady flow of customers over the two days of the Fair.
We are still awaiting confirmation of the final figure, but we certainly raised over £4,000, net of expenses, which exceeded our result of two years ago.
All in all, it was a lot of fun and a great result for a very good cause. We will do it again in 2013 and please let the Master or Susan know if you would like to be part of the team.