Shoppers found a warm welcome from wet weather on the first day of an annual charity shopping event in Durham.
Stalls were busy and trade was brisk at the 29th Durham Shopping Extravaganza, which continues at the Ramside Hall Hotel tomorrow. (Thursday 5th October)
The event, which is run by a committee of volunteers, has raised more than £400,000 over the years, all of which goes to local charities.
This year’s recipients are DFW Adoption and St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham, My Sister’s Place, Middlesbrough, and RABI North East.
Co-chair Nicky Swan said: “Footfall has been amazing and constant throughout our first day to the point where we had to extend the parking, which is very encouraging.
“We have 76 stalls this year, some old favourites and lots of new ones, so there is plenty for people to buy, from food to fashion, gifts and items for the home.
“We must say a big thank you to all our sponsors and donors – BHP Law, Sherwoods, Brewin Dolphin, Lycetts and Parklane Plowden Chambers – to our fabulous volunteers and, of course, our shoppers and our charities, who make it all the hard work that goes into staging the DSE worthwhile.”
Among the stallholders was Marguerite Todd, who, with husband Anthony, travels back to their native North East from Cornwall every year.
The couple, who used to farm near Wolsingham, are the longest serving stallholders at the DSE and consequently are believed to have donated the most money to charity from their proceeds over the years.
Marguerite, whose son stills lives in the North East, said: “I’d love to say I was at the first DSE but I probably joined at the second or third. Since then, I’ve been to every one. It’s lovely to keep coming back to see old mates again and to know that local charities benefit.”
The DSE is open again tomorrow from 10am-4pm.