The pop-up-shops at Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale, North Norfolk
At the start of the summer my mum and I were heading towards Blakeney for our annual short break. It is generally the case on our trips that by late morning we are more than ready for coffee and cake so we pulled into Dalegate Market on the main road through Burnham Deepdale. With it’s cafe, fuel station and row of shops it looked very inviting but what we didn’t realise at the time was that there were some very special shops at the back. On closer inspection we discovered 4 pop-up-shops and after chatting to one of the ‘shopkeepers’ I decided that I had to have a go myself.
I didn’t take the easy option of a short 3 or 4 day stint. No, not me, I went straight in for 5 days including the big music festival weekend. Of course I booked all of this without thinking where might I sleep for 6 nights? Would I be able to do it all on my own? Will the dog sitter be available that week? Fortunately, a good friend lent me her caravan to stay in and my mum offered to come and help me. The only sticking point was the dog – sitter unavailable! Only one thing for it, the dog had to go too.
Setting up on the Wednesday afternoon took for ever. The other three shop tenants came, set up and went away again whilst we struggled with shelves and layouts. To make it worse I couldn’t even put the stock out for security reasons so still had all that to do first thing in the morning.
On Thursday morning we threw open the doors not knowing what to expect. I anticipated very little but was surprised by the constant ‘passing through’ of people starting or finishing their holidays. Saturday, festival day, was a mass of people wandering backwards and forwards. Fortunately some of them came in to have a look, some came in several times, and a few were good enough to purchase from me. I’ve never spoken to so many people, people that genuinely took the time to ask about my work. Such a variety of people from all walks of life and various parts of the country. Oscar the spaniel was also in his element being fussed by every other person.
All in all this was a great experience and one which I fully intend to repeat. Although shattered at the end of the week I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dalegate Market. Next time I’ll have a little workbench with me so that I can demonstrate and as well as talking, people will be able to see for themselves that everything really is handmade at The Busy Box Room.