Colonies Yard Sale, 2023 – a resounding success!

On the drizzly morning of Sunday, 21st May, we strung our newly sewn bunting across streets and festooned the street-end obelisks with colourful handmade signs of what to expect in that particular street, hoping dry weather would return for the 1pm start of our 2nd annual yard sale since the pandemic. As usual, the ‘early birds’ were perusing a good half-hour before the official start of the event and sales were already taking off! There was then no lull in the afternoon’s (overcast but dry) proceedings until soon after 4pm, when the haar rendered the air too chilly for the musicians’ hands, the plants and cakes had sold out and browsers faded away to warm up!

This year, slightly fewer residents (28) set up shop in their gardens but the overall takings amounted to a record-breaking £7586, of which £2245 was raised for 8 charities. Those charities, each chosen by the participant, were Kindred, Maggie’s Centre, MyName’5Doddie Foundation, Scottish Book Trust, Trussell Trust Foodbank, Versus Arthritis, Vintage Vibes and WWF. We were delighted that the Colonies Cakes stall in the prime position of 1 Reid Terrace was very efficiently co-ordinated by Vicky with a band of helpers to sell a large range of cakes, all baked and donated by residents, offering something for everyone from gluten-free chocolate tortes to beautifully decorated cupcakes to wholesome Orkney gingerbread. As is the tradition, every crumb had gone by 3.30pm, having raised £320 for the Stockbridge Colonies Residents’ Association to cover the very modest costs of funding this community event and our annual website fees.

Having begun in 1999 as a ‘car boot sale in your own garden’ zero-waste, community-spirited opportunity for a general clear-out, our annual sale has gradually evolved into an ideal event not only for loft clearance but also for creatives to launch their work, for bakers and plantspeople to share their produce, for musicians to enjoy an audience outdoors… whilst continuing in the vein of that initial sale in the last century. With many new residents in the Colonies over the last 3 years, the chance to meet others and admire the skills of neighbours was much appreciated.

We’re very grateful to Colonies resident, photojournalist Matt Grace for capturing the atmosphere of the day so well on his images below.