Dickens of a Christmas


Each year, the historic market town of Olney is transported back in time to the era of Victoriana and Charles Dickens as the town is transformed into times past. 

At our Market Place, the weekly market returns but with appropriately dressed stalls and stallholders surrounded by a wide range of smaller stalls and food outlets run by many of the town’s residents and organisations.   Themed entertainment, a farmers market, Father Christmas, a fairground and many of the town retailers open to serve the thousands who come into town to savor the atmosphere.  Our aim is to give our visitors a day out which will be one to be remembered thanks to the effort of so many people, especially those getting into theme by dressing in Dickensian costume.  

Cars can be left in the Free Car Parks situated at Emberton Park and Yardley Road Industrial Estate - all clearly signposted from the entrances to town.  A frequent free bus service will be operated throughout the day, thanks to Souls coaches who will whisk our visitors into the Market Place where you can commence your experience of wandering around the various stalls and shops, listening and watching the themed entertainment and hopefully, bring some fun back into what is rapidly becoming a time of trauma for many.

Strangers to the town can help themselves to a leaflet outlining the various locations in the town which are worth visiting and you can hopefully pick one on board the buses, at all of the craft fayre entrances and a number of retailers.  

Lions Craft Fayres

As part of our contribution to the event, visitors can attend the Lions Craft Fayres located in two sites throughout the town. With around 80 stalls located at the Carlton House Club and The Olney Centre for a single fee of £1 per adult (unaccompanied children .50p) visitors have unlimited admission throughout the day.  A great opportunity to visit, choose from a massive number of unique Christmas gifts then to save carrying things with you, revisit to make your purchases.

Virtually all the goods are hand crafted by the stallholders or their friends and you can get that totally unique Christmas present for a fraction of the cost you would expect to pay in retail premises.   Jewellery, wood turning, Christmas gifts, knitting, beadwork, glassware, art, photography, gem trees, even cupcakes .............are but a few of the many crafts likely to be display.

If you would like to have  a look at some photos of the Craft Fayre and the event in general, just click on this link and you will be transported as if by magic, to our photo album.   Just close the album page to come back here.

We receive sponsorship every year from
,  Olney's premier flooring specialist who we are indebted to, not just for the financial support we receive but for the encouragement which spurs us on to keep the event going. 

Like to apply to take part next year?   Drop us a note via our Contact us page and we will be in touch with further details.  Remember, though, we only want hand produced items - this is a Craft Fayre and we do demand that items are created and produced by a craftsperson so please confirm this is the case when you contact us. 


Like to Join us in a future event?

Our event normally takes place on the second Sunday of December (but do check our Calendar as the date sometimes changes) so if you would like to be considered and wish to be added to our mailing list for future events, please visit our contact page and send us our contact details.   Please ensure that you include full details of the crafts you produce and we will get back to you with an application form when these are being sent out - our preferred method of contact is email so please, if you should change your email address at any time whilst you are on our list remember to let us know.

Please Note:   applications will not be accepted from you unless the items you sell have been handcrafted preferably by yourself although it may be possible to accept an application from someone who does not actually do the craft work if they personally know the craftsperson - in cases such as this, it is vital that you notify us.  

Dickens of a Christmas Craft Fayre has been supported since its inception by

and the Lions Club would like to express our sincerest thanks for this long term support.