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In 1995, a small group of stampers who periodically attended workshops together formed a club, which we called Happy Stampers North West. We wanted to share ideas and techniques and to enjoy ourselves whilst mixing with like-
We were, however, frustrated by the lack of events available for stampers in the North West, so we set about organising our own show, which took place in the autumn of 1998 at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight. It was so successful that we were asked to arrange another one for the following year. We were soon encouraged to stage two Festivals a year, the number of retailers taking part more than tripled and stampers have been coming from all over the UK mainland, from Ireland, the Isle of Man, Shetland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Tenerife, the USA and even Australia!
We celebrated our 30th Festival in September 2013. With this milestone reached, the other three Committee members decided it was time to withdraw, leaving me with the simple decision to carry on alone rather than let the Festivals disappear. I've reached the 40th Festival with the one in the Autumn of 2018.
For Health and Safety reasons the numbers attending have to be restricted, so tickets are sold only in advance. Such is the interest that, as soon as the ticket application forms giving details of the next Festival are posted, the stampede for tickets begins and I now often sell out before the ordering deadline.
Organising the Festivals takes a lot of work and, on the day itself, still involves volunteers who give up an hour or more to undertake various roles to help things run smoothly. As part of their community engagement programme, members of our local Scouts groups also give very much appreciated help in the car park and at the emergency exits and provide First Aid services.
It is so good to see the familiar faces of those who have supported the Festivals throughout the years -