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Jan 2019

LITTLE HALL and Lavenham Christmas Fair 2018

The final event in this very busy year was Potters and Friends, our annual feast of ceramics and crafts. Fifteen potters and craftspeople set up their stalls in the house selling unique handmade gifts of pottery, textiles, metalwork, glasswork and jewellery. Our Artist in Residence, Lucy Perry was able to show and sell some of her beautiful screen prints made as the result of her time in the house, sketching, and photographing the house and its collection. We are hoping to see more of Lucy in the new year.

Alongside the Christmas Fair, Lavenham was really buzzing. I don’t think I have ever seen the Market Place so crowded. We had a record number of  visitors through the house, over 2,500 adults and children. There were those who have made it an annual pilgrimage, those looking for a special gift and the generally curious. All the exhibitors enjoyed selling their wares and returning to this lovely old house.

The house is now closed until the Saturday 30th March 2019, but work will be continuing on cleaning and cataloguing the collection, maintaining the house and garden and restocking the shop with more new products.

Although the house is closed, we are happy to welcome groups of ten people or more, so long as we have prior warning enabling us to find volunteers. We are also happy to offer illustrated talks about the house and its history at meetings of your group. Christine Grey is our  bookings coordinator,  so please contact her via the link on the website if you would like to book a visit  www.littlehall.org.uk  

A clothier’s timber framed house, Little Hall is the only medieval residential property in Lavenham open to the public and is run entirely by volunteers. Rescued in the 1920’s and 30’s by the Gayer Anderson twin brothers, Little Hall is filled with their collection of antiques and antiquities and retains the atmosphere of a friendly family home.

We need help to guide our visitors, in our shop, in the garden, to look after our collections and much more. If you would like to find out more and join our team of volunteers who keep this ancient building alive, consult our website or contact me, Gwyneth Arnott on 01787 247919.

More to follow – watch out for posters around the village and in the next edition of Lavenham Life!                                         

                                                                                                                             Gwyneth Arnott

Nov 2018

OCTOBER was as busy as ever with Lucy Perry our ‘Artist in Residence’ working in the house on the first two Saturdays of the month. She spent time sketching and photographing the many different visual motifs in the house, building up to producing screen prints. These should be ready for sale in the shop during our Potters and Friends event in December.
Later in the month Lavenham Gardening Club held a ‘Divide and Multiply Sale’ in the garden. This was a ‘Bring and Buy’ type of sale and entry to the garden was free. A magnificent planted pot was raffled and the money raised was shared with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The whole event was a great success and grateful thanks to Michael and Vivian Warner and other garden club members for their hard work. Over £200 was donated to the house.

During November Little Hall joined in the village wide commemorations surrounding the Centenary of the Armistice. In the 2nd half of the 19th and the early years of the 20th century, the building we now know as Little Hall was divided into a number of separate dwellings. The present library and inner hall and the solar and corridor above formed a small cottage known as 20 Market Place. Two brothers, Edward and Ernest Poulson, left this small cottage to go to war in August 1914. We prepared displays in the house about the Poulson brothers. We were also able to display information about the Gayer Anderson brothers’ military service and in the dormitory there was a selection of the previously unseen photographs of World War 1 taken from the Soper Collection.

We had over 500 visitors through the house during the two weekends and there was a lot of interest from visitors and Lavenham residents alike. On the evening of Sunday 11th November the village joined in the Nationwide Commemorations with a Service of Remembrance and a beacon lighting ceremony in the Market Place. Little Hall’s ‘pop up’ café, serving tea, coffee and squash in the garage, proved a success. The drinks were provided by Lavenham Parish Council and donations of £60 have been split between three military charities.

The final event of 2018, is ‘Potters and Friends’, our premier ceramics exhibition. This is to run at the same times and alongside Lavenham’s Christmas Fair on Friday 7th, Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th December. There will be 15 stalls with handmade ceramics, jewellery, textiles and much more beside. Entry is free and the Little Hall shop has some new products as well as old favourites on offer.

Little Hall is completely volunteer run, if you feel you could help in any way please phone me, Gwyneth Arnott on 01787 247919 or Jane Waller 01787 247889. Or take a look at our website and email recruit@littlehall.org.uk

This season we are continuing activity packs for families to use with their children. See here for more details.

Our shop continues to refresh its range of products, many of which you'll not find anywhere else. 
No admission charge to the shop which is open when the house is open.