Monday 15 July 2013

#belperarttrail at the 2013 food festival

what a magnificent day it was.

we knew from previous festivals that being present in the crowds is a great way to meet and chat with people, both who already knew about the trail and those that didn't.

our stall was on king street just opposite the council building and it proved to be a good location for all day shade.

postcard by jo kirk

as the festival opened there was very early sales for the crisp stall next door and much humour generated by the names of the beers on the other side. on  a personal note i spent the first two hours preferring that our stall was in an area that had other stalls offering information and opportunity.  

as the day progressed the ill feeling eased as i saw a pattern emerge of a steady increase in interest in the art trail.

the other pattern i definitely noticed were the groups of people taking a map. year on year i saw alot more groups of four taking a map and leaving the stall in full on discussion about the trail and the whereabouts of the venues.

mid way through the day we were joined by artist jo kirk who headed up the activity to "make a postcard from belper". we had lots of children and several adults who took some time out to create their very own postcard. we all enjoyed the smiles from the children at their creations and the deliberation that were started when asked "who are you going to send this to?"

postcard by andrew martyn sugars

throughout the day we received much feedback and i'm happy to report that it was almost unanimously positive.  here's a small selection of the comments that i can remember:

"a lady from the walking group told me about the art trail"

"i'm from matlock and i go to wirksworth quite a bit"

"can you go round this in the week? there's too much to do"

"there's an art trail as well"

"it''s really inventive"

"what a great idea"


postcard by jo kirk

shortly before 2pm the current mayor of belper came over and said hello.  i can't remember talking so easily to a person in public office. she had many praising and encouraging words and has offered a photo opportunity with any of the works in the trail for the artists and venues.  i asked her about the track day fund raiser for the drop inn. her photo came out of her bag and we chatted at length about the endeavour.

so looking back on the day as a whole, i did start off being a little disappointed at the low level of interest in the trail. i accept now that actually the day was a food festival after all and those early visitors were looking to buy quality food.

as the day progressed there was a steady flow of interested people and overall there was an increase year on year in interested people.

just before we packed up for the day we spoke to one of the exhibiting venues. they reported that they were pleased to have opened (normally they did not open on a sunday) and had seen a lot of visitors and had made sales "it was a good day"

as i said yesterday to so many people, the trail is on today and the works are on show until next sunday.

postcard by jo kirk

[edit] we also spoke to a gentleman who was the quality control manager of the north mill. we spoke at length about the mill and what he did and personally i really enjoyed listening and talking with him.[edit]

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