Amazingly 2018 was yet another record year for the Book Fair. We raised £37,688 up from £36,002 last year.
We sold over 2,700 tickets to the fair and with the students and children who are allowed free entry we had over 3,000 people visit the fair which was again over 10% up on the previous year.
This year the visitors were more evenly spread over the three days of the fair, rather than the crowd we had on the Thursday morning last year, although the starting queue was just as large.
We also had more books delivered than ever and probably had almost 80,000 books to sort.
We cannot display much more than about 60,000 books so the increased numbers proved a real challenge.
We had more help from members of EMC than we have done in previous years which was very welcome and is reflected in the increased contribution the fair is making towards the fund for the Children and Family Worker. However, we could not do without the help of the charities who particularly provide help during the general sorting in the Youth Hall to whom we have made donations as set out below. In addition, we had a new layout in the church, because we used Roots as the café area rather than the lower lounge. This worked very well and the gross takings from the café over the fair were increased as well as providing a very good opportunity to promote Roots to many who had not previously visited it.
The new layout using the lower lounge and the creche room proved a success as did the new display arrangements in the Hartley room. As a result, for instance, we sold more Cookery, Health and Wellbeing, Religious and Poetry & Drama books than we have done in previous years. However, overall, we only sell about one third of the books we receive and we need a dealer to provide a 40-tonne articulated lorry to take the books away at the end of the fair.
This year the dealer, who we had used previously and had agreed to continue to do so this year, told us the day before we started sorting, that he was unable to take the residue for resale. This gave us considerable concern, but we finally agreed, a week later(!) with a dealer, who had been recommended, that they would take the books on the Saturday evening. The Scouts then did a superb job in almost completely filling the lorry he provided with all the unsold books, despite the lorry arriving late.
We again celebrated the fair with a very enjoyable party, with entertainment provided by Peter and Kathryn Thompson.
The donations which we are making this year are:
Action for Children £7,850; EMC Family Worker £6,750; Scouts £6,500; Guides £2,000