New arts and craft festival ‘Reddfest’ comes to Stockport this weekend

By Steven Oldham

ReddFest, the first arts and crafts festival to be held in Reddish, Stockport, is happening this Saturday. 

The free event has been organised to showcase the best of local creative talent including photographers, artists and ceramics and jewellery makers.

The organisers held an art competition across all schools in Reddish to help promote the event locally. 

Children from all six primary schools were asked to compete in the competition in which the winners had their art displayed on a real gallery wall at Broadstone Open Studios.

Labour MP for Reddish and Denton, Andrew Gwynne presented the children with their certificates at the gallery.

He said: “I was thrilled to present the certificates at the recent schools art competition, the standard was really high and I would like to congratulate all those who took part, they all did very well.”

Mr Gwynne added that he was pleased that the winners’ work was displayed publicly.

He added: “I am really looking forward to ReddFest as it will be a real celebration of Reddish, and give the local community a real sense of why Reddish is a great place to live and work.”

The idea for the festival came from Paul Moss, one of the co-organisers.  He originally wanted to hold a food festival but the logistics of this made the idea unworkable.

His secondary idea was to hold an arts festival and this is how ReddFest was born.

Volunteer Catherine Sheppard, one of the festival’s organisers said the festival has had widespread local support.

She said: “We’ve had really good backing from local businesses – some thought they had left it too late to get involved,”

“The council have been great too – they have put a number of resources at our disposal which we’re really grateful for,” she added.

The Co-operative have also given the organisers over £1,000 towards the festival.

The only stipulation for exhibitors is they have a connection with Reddish – they live or work there or have history with the area.

As well as the arts, there will be magicians, food stalls and family activities going on.  Visitors will be able to sample Afro-Carribean cuisine as well as tasty cupcakes.

Catherine said: “We want to attract families and show what can be done when a community pulls together, even in a relatively small space like Houldsworth Square.”

Festival goers will be encouraged to express themselves – art materials will be in place for them to try their hand and all work put forward will be photographed and put on the website.

Kayleigh Plant is a 23-year-old photographer who lives in Reddish and will be running a stall on Saturday – including prints, magnets and greetings cards all using her own photography.

She had previously had work exhibited at Broadstone Open Gallery as part of an exhibition of local artists under 25 in October 2009 and again last year in an exhibition for emerging artists.

“I have always been interested in photography.  I studied it at Cheadle and Marple College and then completed a degree in it at the University of Central Lancashire,” she said.

If successful, the festival will be repeated next year. 

For more information, visit  Kayleigh Plant’s photography can be seen on her website



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