FESTIVE cheer was in full swing over as a Christmas market made its triumphant return to the city.
Scores of shoppers flocked to investigate the winter wares on offer during the Hotwalls Christmas Market, in Old Portsmouth.
The event, which featured live music and an opportunity for people to make their own festive decorations, proved the perfect chance to bag early Christmas gifts.
Among those checking out the festive spectacle was Southsea woman Jude Wise. She said: ‘I think the market is wonderful with an interesting collection of arts and crafts which have been made locally. I’ve bought ceramic decorations and a card making set for my granddaughter.’
Husband, Ken Wise, added: ‘The singer was very good and the Christmas songs really gets you in the festive spirit.’
With 18 stalls on display there was a range of products on offer including paintings, cards, clothing, decorations, photographs and fresh food.
Highbury College art teacher, Amy Routledge, said: ‘This is an opportunity for me to sell some of my paintings. It’s the second year I’ve taken part in the market and there’s always such a nice vibe and the people are so friendly.’
Mum, Gill Routlege, who was selling succulent plant decorations, said: ‘A lot of people like to use the succulents as decorations. The market really helps to get people in the mood for Christmas.’
It’s a sentiment shared by customer, Donna Molloy.
‘I’ve done some Christmas shopping but most of the gifts are for me! It’s really nice to see so many people out enjoying themselves,’ she said.
One of the most popular stalls gave shoppers the chance to make their own festive wreath.
Wreath maker, Megan Green, said: ‘It can take up to two hours to make a wreath but it really helps get people feeling festive.’
Customer, Terri Roberts, added: ‘I’ve really enjoyed making my own wreath and plan to use it as a centrepiece table decoration. I wasn’t particularly in a Christmas spirit when I left the house but I am now.’
The success of the market is a welcome relief to Hotwalls Studios events and operations manager, Molly Kennedy.
Molly said: ‘Last year we had to cancel due to weather. There has been such a fantastic buzz amongst shoppers this weekend.’
The market is just part of the successful regeneration of the area which four years ago saw the creation of studios for local artists and craft makers to showcase their talents.
Studio owner and jewellery maker, Charlie Leftley, was teaching customers how to make their own festive decorations.
Charlie said: ‘I’ve been here since February and the customer footfall has generally been good – particularly when events such as the Christmas Market are on.’