Midwinter market warms a community

Queens Road Front Garden Winter Market, Banbury. Residents raising funds for Katharine House Hospice. Back from the left, Michelle Fisher, Steve Gold, Tina Huyghe and Colin Bingham. Front, Ella the Elf and Seren Thomas. NNL-140712-213024009
Queens Road Front Garden Winter Market, Banbury. Residents raising funds for Katharine House Hospice. Back from the left, Michelle Fisher, Steve Gold, Tina Huyghe and Colin Bingham. Front, Ella the Elf and Seren Thomas. NNL-140712-213024009

Community spirit was alive and well in Banbury when Queen’s Road residents held their third annual Front Garden Winter Market on Sunday.

People enjoyed home made food and bought everything from photographs to seeds, plants and crafts. And the street residents raised more than £350 for Katharine House Hospice and more for charities including Mind and Leonard Cheshire.

Queens Road Front Garden Winter Market, Banbury. Residents raising funds for Katharine House Hospice. Back from the left, Michelle Fisher, Steve Gold, Tina Huyghe and Colin Bingham. Front, Ella the Elf and Seren Thomas. NNL-140712-213024009

Queens Road Front Garden Winter Market, Banbury. Residents raising funds for Katharine House Hospice. Back from the left, Michelle Fisher, Steve Gold, Tina Huyghe and Colin Bingham. Front, Ella the Elf and Seren Thomas. NNL-140712-213024009

“The idea for the market grew out of the Big Lunch national project which was aimed at bringing communities closer together by building community bonds and friendships, which started in our street about six years ago,” said Queens Road householder Steve Gold.

On Sunday Mr Gold opened his front room for his photo exhibition and other residents set up stalls in their front gardens offering a wide variety of home produced goods .

Sales included hot food and seasonal drinks, arts and crafts, pottery, handmade gifts and sweet treats.

Budding young entrepreneurs were also in evidence, helping mums and dads to make and sell wares on the stalls. “Residents of all ages baked, sewed and donated items to a charity gingerbread stall which this year raised money for Katharine House Hospice in memory of the 
late Doreen Butler, a Queen’s Road resident who had been an active supporter of Katharine House for many years,” said Mr Gold. “Proceeds from the stall, plus the generous donations of three big Christmas trees, a print of the Fine Lady statue and the sale of copies of a history of Queen’s Road, researched and written by Queen’s Road resident Derrick Knight, have raised a total so far of over £360 for the charity.

“We also had a food collection for the Banbury Young Homeless Project Foodbank and other residents sold items on behalf of other charities, including Mind and Leonard Cheshire Homes.”

Other street events held in the year included a quiz night, pool party, picnic in the park and barn dance. They are already planning next year’s Big Lunch Street Party.

“We’d like to be an example and hope other streets and areas might do the same, “said Mr Gold. “Since our first lunch I know over half the people in the road, where before then I only knew my immediate neighbours.”