Portsmouth families get festive as the Love Baffins Christmas market returns

Angel Castledine, 11, Reuben Castledine, five, Adam Castledine, 32, Caryl Castledine, 64 and trader Janet Ross, 62 at the Love Baffins Christmas market
Angel Castledine, 11, Reuben Castledine, five, Adam Castledine, 32, Caryl Castledine, 64 and trader Janet Ross, 62 at the Love Baffins Christmas market

CHRISTMAS came to Baffins as the community braved the rain for the return of its festive market.

The family-friendly fixture in Portsmouth saw more than 25 stalls line Tangier Road and pack inside the City Life Church yesterday – boasting handmade trinkets, food, drink and fun.

Jane Newnham, 60, Lynsey Newnham, 39, and her son Ashton, eight enjoying the Lego stall at the Love Baffins Christmas Market

Jane Newnham, 60, Lynsey Newnham, 39, and her son Ashton, eight enjoying the Lego stall at the Love Baffins Christmas Market

Lynsey Newnham from nearby Highgrove Road went along to soak up the festive cheer with her eight-year-old son, Ashton, and her mother Jane, who is 60. 

The 39-year-old said: ‘Events like this bring everyone together. 

‘There aren't as many markets as there used to be so to come out today and see all the local faces is fun.

‘There’s a lot of variety in the stalls they’ve put out.’

Thelma and Keith Waldren, who ran the now-closed greengrocers on Tangier Road, kept up tradition by selling their Christmas trees

Thelma and Keith Waldren, who ran the now-closed greengrocers on Tangier Road, kept up tradition by selling their Christmas trees

Stationed in the City Life Church, which saw huge footfall throughout the day, trader Janet Ross was selling more than 200 knitted dolls made by her 86-year-old mother, Peggy. 

The 62-year-old said: ‘This is a really lovely place to come and the community here is absolutely amazing. There's a great sense of camaraderie.’ 

As well as brushing up on gift ideas, revellers got the chance to meet Santa Claus in his grotto in Baffins Library and enjoy live music at The Baffins pub.

All proceeds from the day, part-organised by Love Baffins chairwoman Nicky Pybus, will go to the Love Baffins Community Grant Scheme, which enables residents to apply for cash to stage events to benefit people in the area. 

Raffle team Eileen Heggarty and Terry Norton with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason and Love Baffins chairwoman Nicky Pybus

Raffle team Eileen Heggarty and Terry Norton with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason and Love Baffins chairwoman Nicky Pybus

Mrs Pybus said: ‘We start planning for this event in January and so many of our stalls book on year-after-year because they love it so much. 

‘There are lots more stalls than there have been in previous years, which is great news, but what I do is just one part of this event. 

‘We have a brilliant team of volunteers who form the Love Baffins committee and they give up their time to do this because we have a real heart and passion for our community.’ 

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, councillor Lee Mason, got the market under way at 11am. 

Shazia Dongola, 15 and Chloe Hodgson, 15, get involved with the Love Baffins Christmas market with their colourful outdoor display at Floral Art

Shazia Dongola, 15 and Chloe Hodgson, 15, get involved with the Love Baffins Christmas market with their colourful outdoor display at Floral Art

He said: ‘There is a great community spirit here today and it’s fantastic to see such strong support from businesses. 

‘When you support businesses like this, the money returns to the community – it stays here, it doesn’t go off to some offshore holding company.’