History of the Alford Craft Market
The Alford Craft Market was set up in 1974, to promote the manufacture of high quality, hand crafted goods in and around Lincolnshire.
It began in the June of that year as a Friday market to coincide with the chartered market that takes place weekly in the Market Place in Alford, with the August Market beginning in the following year. The markets quickly become well known, with the August Festival establishing itself as not only a place to find new talent in Arts and Crafts, but also as a venue for excellent and new talent in theatre and music. The August Festival also became associated with the Morris Dancing Festival organised by the Alford Morris Team, and this is still carried on with displays of dancing, and a grand ceilidh on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday.
The Christmas Markets began, in the Corn Exchange in Alford in the winter of 1976.
The area around Alford quickly became famous for its varied wealth of crafts, and its reputation is still carried on. This is promoted by the addition to the programme of the Working Crafts Weekend, which has highlighted a wide variety of crafts, such as writing paper making, beekeeping, cake decorating and of course, the very successful "Forge-In' run with the co-operation of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association. This weekend has left a permanent reminder in the shape of an archway in the grounds of the Alford Manor House, which is the site of the Bank Holiday Craft Markets, with the kind permission of the Alford Civic Trust.
The Craft Market is run by a committee of craftsmen, and is entirely non-profit making. It is run to promote craft work in the area of Lincolnshire and to provide an outlet for traditional and contemporary crafts.
Before anyone can sell their goods on the Market they are selected by a committee of established craftspeople, who are looking for high quality work. Preference is given to those who live in Lincolnshire, although some of the craftworkers do come from surrounding counties.
Entrance to all the Craft Markets is free, although you are encouraged to make a donation which will help to pay for the demonstrations of crafts and the entertainment which is provided.