Ash Spring Shopping Fair a great success - say organisers
The Ash Spring Shopping Fair, which took place in Surrey last week, was a great success, says organiser Chanel Lee (pictured above).
Chanel Lee has been organising the shopping fairs to support Gypsy and Traveller stall holders during the season when when the traditional horse fairs are not running. The Travellers’ Times photographer, Donna Holpin, went along to record the event.
“All the stall holders did very well, we had over 80 applications, lots of people came, and we were lucky with the spring weather with the rain holding off until the end,” says Chanel Lee, speaking to the Travellers' Times.
“We are planning another Ash Shopping Fair at the end of July, start of August sometime, and we will be repeating last year’s very successful Ash Christmas Shopping Fair.”
Chanel Lee says that at the first Ash Shopping Fair the local council at first tried to cancel the fair at the last moment when they realised it was a Gypsy and Traveller-run event.
"Everything was fine when we booked the field," says Chanel Lee.
"The council lady came down on the day we were setting up and when she saw the vans and stalls pulling on, I think she thought we were going to try to live there and not go home," adds Channel Lee.
"We talked the council lady round and re-assured her," says Chanel Lee. "We are now welcome to hold our shopping fair there anytime.
"This time, the council said they had some complaints before we even set up," adds Chanel Lee. "People were complaining that because we are who we are, we must be selling dodgy gear. Our stalls are all legitimate, with health and safety and food certificates as well, some of them have their own shops."
"You get used to it (the discrimination) and work round it," says Chanel Lee.
Chanel Lee has kindly invited the Travellers' Times along to the next Ash Shopping Fair and we will be holding a stall there to give out our magazine (which this story will be in!). We are also hopefully sharing a stall with a local Surrey-based charity that supports Gypsies and Travellers in education and with discrimination. So see you at the next one!
Any one interested in coming along or bringing a stall can contact Chanel Lee through her website at www.londonfifthavenuejewelry.com. Also check the Travellers’ Times social media for future Ash Shopping Fair promotions.
All IMAGES © Donna Holpin