2019 Christmas Market

Congratulations to Billericay Mayflower for another highly successful Christmas Market, and, to us for our efforts once again.

Cold Comfort In Sharing Another Success

In congratulating Billericay Mayflower for another highly successful Christmas Market, we must applaud ourselves for our efforts once again.

The High Street on Sunday, December 2 didn’t resemble a scene from Ice Cold in Alex – no baking desert sand and certainly not a cold beer or mulled wine to hand. Just very finger-nipping, nasal-challenging and, if you were lucky, hot coffee in a cup and a sausage roll from Giggly Pig! 

Seriously, our own club’s participation, as always, is in implementing the Rotary Village Sector to raise the profile of Rotary, highlight the charitable works we undertake, try and encourage new membership AND, try and raise money through our Raffle.

Raffle And RotaKids

As always, achieving these aims needs a team effort. There is event preparation, donations for the Raffle and then, on the day itself, the need for help to first erect and finally dismantle the four-gazebo display and return all items to Pat’s warehouse ........ and of course, to sell the raffle tickets, write out the stubs and finally do the draw and ensure the prizes are delivered to the winners.  Complex and only possible by the wholehearted participation of club members in one way or another.

We again had the much appreciated help from Buttsbury and Quilters RotaKids – possible future members?  How they love it!  In their Rotary Club of Billericay RotaKids tabards and wonderful festive hats, they took it seriously – but had fun! They’re all excellent salespeople, contributing significantly to the money we raise.  Thanks also to Basildon Rotary Club who, every year, run the recruitment drive. Much appreciated.

Fun And Feedback

So, another long, cold day in the market, but good fun as always, especially seeing people who you haven’t seen since the last Market, catching up on the news and getting them to invest in the raffle! The general feedback from the public was that it was an improvement on last year’s with street layout being more customer friendly and a better variety of stalls. So good omens for 2020.

How did we do against our pre-Market aims?  We certainly raised the profile of Rotary with our street display and showed the charitable work we undertake across a myriad of causes.  The disappointing area, as always, is recruitment.  The public shows interest but no commitment.

The raffle raised over £1660 thanks to the wholehearted team effort put in by all club members.

Soapbox Derby Launch

At the request of Colin Campbell from the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, we organised publicity for the 2020 Soapbox Derby.  This was to be the public launch of the “VE20” Soapbox Derby, so a big push was needed.

As usual, we had three gazebos, one showing display boards with posters of previous events replete with flyers for the public to take away, one to show off two soapboxes, and one to show videos of previous years’ races.

Success On The Day

It worked out brilliantly.  All the last-minute changes were ready and working, two soapbox teams took part in the parade, and “parked” their soapboxes in our gazebo, and Roger produced stunning display boards of new posters.

Members of the public, attracted by the videos showing at “Full Blast”, stopped in their tracks.  Many leaflets and flyers were handed out, and more than 50 children stopped their parents so they could sit inside the “Hogwarts Express” soapbox from the 2019 event.  We took photos of over 35 kids, and that was less than half of them.  Great publicity!

The result, just under 20 people stopped to get an entry form so they could send in their manual entry (as above) – a great start and a great success!  And worth the ordeal of nine hours in the freezing cold!  No prizes to the winner, but how long do you think it took me to defrost at home and recover from the ordeal!