Letchworth pop-up shop celebrating local artisans open until end of January

PUBLISHED: 14:22 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:22 15 January 2020

Made in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan Millard

Made in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan Millard

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A traditional arts and crafts pop-up shop has opened in Letchworth town centre with the aim of promoting local artisans.

Made in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan MillardMade in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan Millard

Made In Letchworth - situated at the old Claire's Accessories unit at Garden City Shopping Centre - showcases unique and quirky items alongside traditional arts and crafts, with the aim of bringing together artisans with connections to the town.

The premise - conceived by North Herts district councillor David Levett - seeks to encourage folk to continue in the long tradition of the arts and crafts movement, for which Letchworth Garden City is famous.

Councillor Levett said: "I wanted to be able to give people the opportunity to see the fabulous work done here in Letchworth and give local artisans the ability to sell their products and demonstrate their skills without having to make a hefty investment in premises to do so.

"Think of the concept as a cross between a craft market and The Repair Shop as seen on TV.

Made in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan MillardMade in Letchworth is open in Garden Square shopping centre until the end of January. Picture: Alan Millard

"I've wanted to see if the concept could work for a couple of years now, and with the help of Garden Square Shopping Centre - who have allowed me to use the shop - and those who are bringing their items in to sell or demonstrate, I now have the opportunity to give it a try.

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"So far it has attracted a huge amount of attention and we have had some very encouraging responses to enable the concept to develop.

"Unfortunately the pop up shop can only run until the end of January so I'm hoping to get one one of the vacant properties in the town, so we can continue with this project which benefits the community."

Councillor Levett's own speciality is mechanical music, automata and restoring antique furniture - and he also organises regular demonstrations of restoration techniques.

Featured in the pop-up shop are a selection of his own designs including a street organ, animated models and his current restoration project - a 1908 player piano with a modern twist.

In 2017, Cllr Levett - who lives with Parkinson's disease - raised money for Parkinson's Awareness Week by playing tunes on his street organ in locations around Letchworth town centre.

Made In Letchworth is open Thursday to Sunday until the end of January.

For more information, you can contact David by email at info@madeinletchworth.org or phone 07787513292 for more details.

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