Founders book fair

Founders book fair

Today I was helping out at the annual book fair, raising money for Nelson’s “Founders Heritage Park”.  It’s quite an operation, raising a six-figure sum.  An hour before the doors opened, the queue was already substantial:

Queue building up at Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

Inside the organisers were bracing themselves for the onslaught. Books collected over the past year had been sorted and the first batch laid out ready for the punters.

Quiet before the storm: Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

15 minutes before the fair opened the queue had extended way round the corner and was growing almost at walking pace  (and it’s very unlike Nelson folk to be early for anything)!

Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

I was warned to get ready for the stampede so I stood by the entrance to the book hall.  Martin De Ruyter from the Nelson Mail was well prepared:

Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

After the starter’s gun went off we were away:

Stampede begins: Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

It was heartening to see the number of people of all ages who loved books. Reading is obviously not yet going out of fashion.

readers at Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

readers at Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

One mother was determined to make it quite clear that her daughter was not for sale:

Not for sale: Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

A suitcase was just the thing when bags had insufficient capacity:

Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

At regular intervals when tables had been denuded of books volunteers would emerge with fresh deliveries.

Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

There are still eight days to go but I think supplies will last.  A large neighbouring workshop was being used as a warehouse for more than 600 more boxes of books!

warehouse: Nelson's Founders Heritage Park Book Fair

It will be interesting to see whether the same faces return tomorrow for fresh pickings.  I have to say it was an impressive operation. The logistics were obviously fearsome but everything appeared to be running very smoothly and everyone knew what they had to do.  Congratulations to the Book Fair team!

Update 6 June:  On the first day sales were similar to last year, so it looks as if they are on track to exceed a six-figure total this year too!

PS if you would like to see more photos, try my pBase gallery here

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