Held on May 4th 2019 at Campsegret

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

Rain was forecast. The outside stallholders made contingency plans to ensure books, wares and customers did not get wet in the case of showers.  The morning stayed mainly dry – a great sigh of relief. We had one nasty shower but that was after lunch.

Customers were milling around outside and delivering books to Collections by 8 am.  By 08.30 there was quite a throng around the outside stalls and buying commenced. It was the busiest Fair morning I had experienced. Maybe people had come early to miss the rain.

The Catering Team was taken a little by surprise at 08.30.  Customers were clamouring for sandwiches and quiches for breakfast.  Customers had travelled a long way to reach us before the official opening time and wanted fortifying before they got into the fray. Quickly the catering girls got to work and stepped up sandwich production. They are always made fresh but these were barely buttered before being sold!  The Catering Team and all those baking volunteers did us proud. At the end of the day there were no more than a couple of dozen sandwiches and three small trays of cakes left.  Phew – very close to selling out!  Well done the Catering Team.

When the ropes went down in the main hall at 09.30 there were reports of mayhem and sharpened elbows although no actual bad temper was reported.  Customers were staggering out of the hall, bags bulging with purchases. The bric-a-brac and CD/DVD stalls were constantly surrounded. Collectables, Plants and French books stalls were busy from the off.

We had a slightly different way of collecting the cash this time. In past years money has just been taken from the tins put in marked envelopes and counted later. This time the money was counted at source and a receipt given. This way each stall could see what they were making as the day progressed. By lunch time there were rumours of ‘the best year so far’. These rumours were found to be true when the Treasurer totted up the takings and found we took over 19000€ before Fair Expenses. WOW!  We now need to set the bar higher for the next Fair on 5thOctober.

Adoption dogs were on show. There were some cheery dogs who greeted everyone and there were quiet dogs with sad eyes just wanting a home. Two lucky owners adopted dogs

The plants stall, which was an innovation in October 2018, has gone from strength to strength.  At the helm was Madeleine Bath who is the newly elected Phoenix President.  Her enthusiasm was infectious.  The stall was difficult to see sometimes due to the number of green fingered buyers milling around.   Lisa Longdon, who donated spring bulbs in October, brought annuals and sedums all the way from Holland and every single plant she brought with her was sold. Hopefully she will make the journey again in October with more spring bulbs.

A big thank you to all the volunteers, without whom the Fair could not be so successful. There is a year round occupation collecting and sorting, books and bric-a-brac. Setting up the Fairs involves moving equipment, erecting stalls, marshalling vehicles and people and the work is before, during and after the actual Fair Day.

Our ‘Official Photographer’ took some lovely shots of the Fair, both before the crowds came and during the Fair itself.   If anyone would like to do this for us at the October Fair please contact me, Sandra Hall on sand.hall@orange.fr.

A big thank you to Phoenix members, supporters and customers who make each Fair a successful event and do not forget all those happy animals who find their forever home through the adoption systems. If anyone is thinking of adopting please do not put it off. Contact the foster carer on the Phoenix site for detailed information on any animal that appeals to you and give a home to a deserving animal.  Or make a donation to make their lives in care a little more comfortable.

A big THANK YOU from all at Phoenix. See you on 5thOctober 2019for the next  GREAT PHOENIX BOOK FAIR

Watch the slide show by clicking below

More photos