Last year, the Fairtrade Hay group dressed up as tea ladies and gave out free cups of Fairtrade tea at the Thursday market. The market traders have been asking us if we'd repeat that generosity ever since!
This year the theme is cotton, though we still had some tea on the go. We also had items to display from several shops in Hay that sell Fairtrade goods, including some from the Co-op - and found that we couldn't display half of them because the wind kept blowing them away! Inside the Buttermarket, sheltered from the weather, we had bunting to decorate, and Jo promptly found a group of kids from Trewern Outdoor Pursuits Centre who were in town for the morning to decorate some of them. We also sent them off to look for part of our missing banner....
The original idea had been to have a giant Fairtrade washing line stretched right across the top of the market square, above the stalls. I went down with the washing line the night before the market, when the wind was already starting to blow up, and we decided it would be safer to string the banner across the front of the Cheesemarket building - giant Tshirts, knickers, shorts and socks, each with a letter sewn on to spell Fairtrade (only the letters were Fairtrade cotton - the rest was recycled).
When we arrived in the morning, the washing line had wound itself around one of the pillars of the Cheesemarket - and the 'F' was missing entirely! We put the remaining "AIRTRADE" banner around the sides of the Buttermarket on the railings, and posted a reward for anyone who found the 'F'. Several hours later, it was found under a tree in the Castle grounds! Hurrah! It will appear again at the Fairtrade picnic in the summer.
Despite the weather, we got quite a bit of interest, the tea kept flowing despite a couple of technical hitches, and a good time was had by all.
The following night was Bingo night at the local primary school. It had been a non-uniform day for the children, who were encouraged to bring in Fairtrade prizes for the bingo, and to dress in Fairtrade colours for the day. I couldn't be there, but I'm told that some of the older ladies took the whole thing very seriously indeed!
Coming up soon will be a Fairtrade cookery book, produced in collaboration with all the local Fairtrade schools - we hope!