Creativity in Lancashire

Written by Foxley 30/03/2016 0 Comment(s) Jewellery & Watches, All Categories,

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The Bolton Handmade Market

If one were to look up the term ‘artisan’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, they’d be greeted by the following excerpt – ‘a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand; "street markets where local artisans display handwoven textiles, painted ceramics, and leather goods"’

In the spirit of this, it was my pleasure to visit the second annual Bolton Handmade Market, to see how the Lancashire town’s creative community incarnated the term. Hosted by MWL Events, a company who embody the word ‘artisan’ by holding only the finest quality handmade craft events, on this occasion, the Bolton Handmade Market was held in the grandeur of the Marketplace Shopping Centre.

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The Bolton Handmade Market

As a born and bred Boltonian, it was somewhat of a nostalgic experience strolling the streets of the town centre and entering a venue I held fond memories of as a child for its traditional, old world décor. Upon my arrival, I was instantly greeted by a number of stalls lining the balconies of the middle floor, which overlooked the newly refurbished ‘Vault’, a work in progress aspiring to be a restaurant and entertainment plaza.

While a local songstress serenaded exhibitors and attendees alike from a platform above the afternoon’s events with a charming rendition of Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets of London’, I strolled leisurely from stall to stall, taking in the creativity on display. The air was rich with the smell of a range of chocolate brownies for sale, blended with crème eggs, rocky road and an assortment of other culinary delights, infusing with the smell of the various scented candles and soaps and scrubs, all lovingly crafted by hand.

During my time on the market floor, I spoke to several of the local craftsmen and women stood proudly as the public perused their effort-rich creations. With an eye for the arts, I was almost instantly drawn to a stall hosted by ‘Mint To Be Stationery’ ( With its display of eye catching cards and prints, all created by hand for every occasion, it was the unconventional use of vinyl records to craft clocks which drew my attention. I spoke to artist Caroline Hodson at length about her work, which is compiled of 90% British materials, 75% of which is recycled raw materials, an eco-friendly approach for all occasions.

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The Bolton Handmade Market

Working my way around the various stalls, a heavily decorated stall presented itself first on the right hand side; dressed in numerous frames which decorated a number of black and grey depictions. Taking a closer look, these depictions were of various locations in and around Bolton, including Bolton Town Hall, Churchgate, Smithills Coaching House and Mere Hall in Halliwell. Intrigued, I spoke to artist Ian Whitehead, who was stood proudly behind his counter, accompanied by his son Steven. Whitehead is a long time Bolton native who only recently began putting pen to paper again, specialising in architecture and landscapes, with plans to extend his horizons to a number of different areas of arts and crafts.

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The Bolton Handmade Market

The Bolton Handmade Market

appeared to be well received by the Bolton public, with Easter themed activities to keep children occupied, as parents and families appreciated the artistic local talent from the area.

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To find out more about The Bolton Handmade Market and MWL Events at:

The Bolton Handmade Market


Facebook: MWL Events

Twitter: @MWLEvents


The Bolton Handmade Market

Market Place Shopping Centre



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