Since re-opening the The Old Sale Rooms, in Mantle Street, at Easter as a stylish cafe cum antiques and curiousities emporium Jane Osborne has hardly had a quiet moment. Within a month she plans to expand and open the vast upstairs space as an Arts & Crafts Market.
“It’s a huge room with a vaulted ceiling and beautiful stained glass windows,” said Jane, who recently moved back to Wellington after 20 years away from the town. “I couldn’t see it just sitting there empty and I’m sure it will make an ideal environment for makers, artists and craftspeople to both sell their work and possibly use as additional studio space.”
There will be up to 20 pitches for rent, each 1.75m x 1.75m, and almost half of them are already spoken for. “Very few crafts people would find it viable to rent and staff their own shop, so this is a way of having a permanent selling space and spreading the costs,” added Jane. “I very much hope that it becomes a community of creative people who’ll spread the work load by covering each other’s pitches or perhaps sharing the cost of a sales person so that they can get back to making. The flexibility is part of the appeal.”
The arrival of the Arts & Crafts Market is another big plus in Wellington’s growing reputation as an artistic and cultural centre, as well as an enjoyable place to shop. Wendy Wilkins will be opening the Red Hat Gallery in Cornhill later this month – more news on that in a week or so – partially inspired by the success of th pop-up gallery run by Claire Western over the Easter holidays. Dotty Dolly, the quilting and haberdasher’s shop next to W H Smith seems constantly busy
If you are an artist or maker interested in a pitch at the The Old Sale Rooms contact Jane Osborne on 07909 544552 or via firstname.lastname@example.org,uk