HERE we are again. Clocks have gone back, nights are depressingly long, and I’ve begun to measure time, not in hours and days, but by the number of landmark events before Christmas. 

There are three. First, there’s the over-hyped, Americanised baloney that is Halloween, which I acknowledge by leaving a bowl of sweets outside our front door, with a sign saying “take one and bu---r off”, but otherwise ignore.

Next is the very proper celebration of Bonfire Night – British to the core and replete with happy childhood memories, but nowadays dying on its feet, with nobody daring to light up the sky with standard fireworks because it’s offensive, or dangerous, or a bit smelly, and probably even racist.

So, thank goodness for number three, the Goodworth Clatford Art and Craft Weekend, which returned on November 3rd and was a welcome ray of sunshine in this gloomy, soggy world.

READ MORE: Successful Big Band Buffet helps people stay well while enjoying themselves

Andover Advertiser: Goodworth Clatford Art and Craft WeekendThe event showcases the work of professional artists and artisans alongside pieces from an array of talented amateurs. Many exhibitors from previous years returned, as well as a number of artists new to the show, with gorgeous handmade leather goods, wickerwork, and delightfully unusual creations in Jesmonite being fine additions to the menu.

Having now attended all three of the event’s incarnations, it’s clear that the level of creativity and quality of work edges higher every year, with ever-greater emphasis on artistic prowess.  That’s a good thing – there are umpteen art sales and craft fayres around, all offering similar, humdrum products from keen but unexceptional amateurs. Goodworth’s version is different – it’s positioned itself at the higher end of the artistic ladder, while keeping its prices below those of comparable gallery exhibitions: its USP, as the young‘uns say.

Of course, art being art, not everything will appeal to every visitor, but there are always a few beaux objets that catch your eye and fire the imagination. We just couldn’t resist tapping the plastic and buying a couple of pieces, such was their unique and heartwarming attraction. I’m not going to name the artists, because all participants offered exciting work, but I’m sure all visitors would have found something they felt was “just so very me”.

So, another memorable iteration of what’s becoming the autumn “must-see”. Forget ghosts and fireworks – they’re so last year – and put this in your diary as the only pre-Christmas landmark you’ll need in 2024.

Chris Parkinson-Brown