Artisans ‘reboot’ market at Port

Taking a moment to look at Ian Marechal’s photocards on display, Madeleine Cumberpatch (11), of...
Taking a moment to look at Ian Marechal’s photocards on display, Madeleine Cumberpatch (11), of Christchurch, stops in at the Port Chalmers artisans market at the Port Chalmers Town Hall on Saturday. The market is a reboot of the Port Chalmers cruise ship markets, which were suspended 15 weeks ago, on March 15, after cruise ships were banned from entering New Zealand during the global Covid-19 pandemic.PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Even as she was "ecstatic" that 50 people came through the doors in the first 30 minutes they were open, Port Chalmers artisans market operator Julie Fawcett was thrilled "the ol’ gang" was back together again at the weekend.

For the first time since March 15, when the Port Chalmers cruise ship markets were suspended due to Covid-19, the Port Chalmers Town Hall was filled with arts, crafts and the people who make them on Saturday morning.

Organisers and stall-holders decided "to reinvent ourselves" and hold an artisans market, despite the ongoing ban on cruise ships coming into New Zealand.

"I can’t cry in front of them, because they’ll tease me relentlessly," Miss Fawcett said.

But the sense of community and the social wellbeing the market provided was an overwhelming positive — whatever the level of trade — as the former cruise ship markets were rebooted with a full house of 40 stall-holders at the town hall.

Markets were planned for the last Saturday of each month and a Christmas market was also in the works, to give stall-holders something to work towards.

Dunedin-based photographer Ian Marechal said whether he sold something or not on Saturday morning, it was just good to reunite with the "family" of like-minded stall-holders.

"This is where we left off before Covid — it was a real ‘shut-off’.

"Being back here it feels like nothing has changed because of that family environment," Mr Marechal said.

"We’re all back; we’re all being who we are; everybody here is just being who they are."

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