The 2018 Autumn Book Fair was another great success and raised a record amount of €17.5k, an incredible amount of money. Thank you to all that were involved in the organisation and running of The Fair, those that donated and those that attended.

Here is what Sandra Hall, member of the Book Fair Team, has to say about how the day went…

What a lovely day for a Book Fair. Good weather helped.  It was a little cold and misty in the morning but by midday we had lovely sunshine. Last April we were practically rained off.

For those of you who don’t know, throughout the year the Book Sort Team beaver away sorting over 20,000 books into alpha and category order so that visitors to our Fair can rummage to their hearts content  to find their next favourite reads. CDs, DVDs, games and bric-a-brac are also sorted. So you can imagine how full the barn gets and how busy people are. Some volunteers go every week but some dip in and out when they are able. Books are sorted in a huge barn (boiling in summer- freezing in winter).  We still manage to have fun but sometimes we think we can’t go on but we do and the books manage to get into their boxes and arrive at Campsegret as if magicked there by some demented wizard.

We receive many donations throughout the year, some at the barn, others are collected by a team of people throughout the region. We are trying to build up a group which covers the area. If you would like to get involved with this side of the Book Fair please contact Geoff Hall. (geoff.hall@orange.fr).

The catering has changed a little this year. The new Catering Team has beavered away, cleaning, making sandwiches and taking charge of the brilliant edible donations. The new style sandwiches went down a treat and we actually sold out. We may need to make more next sale.  Most of the catering team donate not only their time on Fair day and sorting but they cook and bake before the day to make sure everyone has something yummy to eat.

This year we have lost or are losing many of our stalwart members – some due to illness, age, house moves and some just want a life outside the book sale as it can become all invasive. Even the days when we are not sorting we put our minds to how the sale will work. We are a varied, dedicated bunch. The sale is run to military precision – everyone knowing what is expected of them. In between sales everyone is rather more relaxed.

The central Phoenix workers were in attendance spreading the word about adoptions and other schemes. Some make time to pop in to the book sort now and again to give their support. The SPA animal centre in Bergerac brought along some of their charges who strutted around trying to catch the eye of prospective forever homes.

A new innovation this year was the plant stall which also helped to swell the coffers of the charity. We also had donations of plants from other people attending the Fair. In addition, there were tulips (bulbs!) from Amsterdam which sold out. Thanks again to all.

After the rain at the April fair we needed to get more of our outside stalls under cover. We were given the use of another large marquee but some of our older ones still need replacing so please keep in mind if you are moving that we do need open sided tents and marquees as long as they are in usable order. They also help to keep the sun off whilst people are searching outside.

We made in the region of 15,000 euros before donations, which is amazing. Some large donations were received and we thank the persons responsible wholeheartedly. Many thanks to all those who visited the fair and made this total possible. Hopefully we can help a lot of animals find homes and have necessary medical procedures with that amount. We had hundreds of visitors through the doors and they were very generous. Thank you again one and all.

If any of you out there are interested in helping us at the book sort, with the catering on during Sale week then please contact me Sandra Hall (sand.hall@orange.fr). We need all the help we can get in order to keep the Book Sale going.

The next two sales are 4th May and 5th October 2019 so please put those dates in your diaries and remember that all takings are spent helping animals in and around this part of France. Without that money the charity could not continue its brilliant work. It is all for the animals.

Photographs taken by Mike Farrow. Thank you Mike.