Peter reports on the fair officially advertised as the Northants Free Vegan Food and Cruelty-free Fair, held at the Animals-in-Need Sanctuary, Pine Tree Farm, Little Irchester near Wellingborough. Our Bruce Lovell is not just a fast runner but helps run Northants Vegan Outreach and is a volunteer at the Sanctuary. He encouraged VRUK to run a stall by sponsoring our presence and providing a running book as a prize in the sanctuary raffle. We are very grateful to Bruce and for personally introducing me to the Sanctuary that I have been aware of for approaching 15 years in different locations but never visited. For more details click here .
Different from the usual indoor fair or business type event, the fair was surrounded by the animals with plenty of attention seeking dogs in the background. Some stalls including VRUK were under an open marquee and most of the remainder in an open building resembling a garage. We were located on the main thoroughfare through the sanctuary with visitors needing to drive past to reach the parking area. Catering was in fact in a permanent location, a veggie cafe normally open to the public Wednesday to Sunday. The fair did not stop staff or volunteers attending to the resident animals with wheelbarrows going to and fro.
Despite the location on the edge of a small village of Little Irchester, the attendance was good and there was good support for the VRUK stall with some of the local vegan runners visiting plus member Verna Burgess who originates from Wellingborough. Verna gave me some relief from the stall although attempts to get a lunch from the normal cafe proved difficult during the peak period due to long queue but luckily there were the free food stalls with plenty of savouries to try throughout the day.
We sold six items of clothing on the day and recruited several new contacts with the potential for new members in the near future as a result of the fair. The membership in the south-east Midlands is generally increasing with the potential for some meet-ups in the months to come.
Thanks again to Bruce also for helping get the luggage back to Northampton station for the short journey to Milton Keynes and similarly local vegan Les Burnard for driving me to the sanctuary from the station.
Next stall to follow is the Derby Compassionate Fair on Saturday, 24 November 11am – 5pm, venue: the Assembly Rooms in the City Centre, for more details click Compassionate Derby Fair.