PICTURE GALLERY: Rowlands Castle craft fair

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‘QUILTING helped me heal my soul.’

Lynn Manley is one of four women who organise a monthly craft fair in Rowlands Castle which welcomes local people to showcase their handcrafted goods.

Lynn, who does quilting and patchwork, said: ‘Most of us are retired and the craft is a hobby but sometimes you just need something that is completely different.’

She added: ‘I myself had a very horrible year a few years ago and I needed something to make my mind off things that had happened.’

A friend suggested Lynn go to a quilting class held in Emsworth by industry renowned Jennie Rayment.

Lynn said: ‘I still go to the class and there is a group of us who meet up.

‘I find it very therapeutic and it really has been a life saver.’

One of the other organisers, Sylvia Tomkinson specialises in jewellery making and started the fair 11 years ago.

She said: ‘I love making jewellery and I started it as a hobby when my son was born and I just can’t stop making it.’

The fair is held at the Parish Hall and usually has 24 stalls with a variety of homemade gifts including carved bowls and knitted clothes.

Sylvia said: ‘I like to encourage people to do homemade and we vet the products before allowing someone to have a stall so we know all the work is made by that person.’

Nicola Haeden-Ford, who lives in the local area, had previously seen Sylvia’s jewellery stand at another fair.

She said: ‘ I came because I had seen a piece of Sylvia’s jewellery at another fair and there is some lovely stalls here which are all very nice.’

Another of the organisers, Hilda Tart said: ‘We have a few regulars who meet here for coffee and then look round the stalls.’

Hilda fills her stall with brightly coloured knitted bags and shawls.

She said: ‘I started when I was 7 and I absolutely love knitting.’

Margaret Harns brought her grandchildren out for the day.

She said: ‘We saw the poster outside as and thought we would come in.

‘I think it so nice that all the craft is handmade.’

To find out more visit facebook.com/Rowlands-Castle-Craft-Fayre-694849177286919/