Words Posy Gentles Photographs Alexandra Campbell, Lisa Valder, Cat Vinton
Faversham seethes with creative people making desirable and unique things. Over the coming months, a good place to track them down will be at the new pop-up shop in Gatefield Lane, appropriately named One Gatefield (Reader, you hear this before the sign is even up!). At present, it is functioning as a vintage shop – you may have spotted the groovy leopard print chairs and large blue letters saying SIDE, through the window, or EDIS if you’re inside.
From November 3rd until Christmas Eve, a group calling themselves Faversham Makers will move into the shop. The 10 artists and makers will offer ceramics, art, contemporary home wares, floral wreaths, organic skincare, accessories and stationery, with an emphasis on locally-sourced materials and sustainability. They are skincare specialists Floragy; embroiderer Abbie Walsh; ceramicist Rosa Bond; florists Country Lane Flowers; soap makers Bohemia & Flower; artist Amanda Thesiger; leathergoods and jewellery makers, Dark Horse Ornament; wildlife illustrator Naomi Stay; ceramicist Lucy Rutter and natural dyer, Ros Humphries. The shop will be open every day from 10-3 except Monday and Wednesday.
The shop is the concept of Kate Halfpenny, fashion designer and founder of Halfpenny London, renowned for her wedding dresses and those who wear them, who moved with her family to Faversham almost five years ago. When the shop came on the market, she snapped it up, created an elegant little flat upstairs as a holiday let, and made the shop self-contained. She says: ‘I wanted to make it a little creative hub because there are so many amazing creative people in Faversham.’ A print show is already being planned for next summer and Kate says the shop is available at an affordable rent to all manner of artists and makers for a minimum of a month at a time. She says: ‘It could also be used by an artist as a studio and exhibition space. Contact details below.
One Gatefield is already looking forward to new neighbours. The much celebrated Grain and Hearth bakers in Whitstable is expanding to Faversham and opening in the old Fleur bookshop. Gatefield Lane is again becoming rather an exciting place to find yourself.
It is of course more than a cut through from Preston St to Newton Rd with listed houses, small businesses and the Faversham Club. Gatefield Lane forms part of the ancient track through Faversham which runs from Bysing Wood Rd and Dark Hill, up Napleton St and Cross Lane, through Gatefield Lane and the recreation ground and on over the long bridge to Macknade. Numbers 1-6 are a listed terrace built in the late 18th century. While some of these were shops in the past – one is called The Old Bookies – all are now residential except number one which has housed a vintage clothes shop and vintage housewares shop in the recent past, and once Gatefield Sounds, the record shop which moved to Whitstable high street and took the name with it.
Kate discovered Faversham through holidaying in Whitstable while living in London. She says: ‘Living here has been life-changing. We’ll never leave! We’re 10 minutes from the sea; an hour and six minutes from London; and we have Macknade, the market three times a week, and an antiques market right on our doorstep. I love the diversity of people – we have friends of all ages. And there’s so much happening!’
Text: Posy Gentles. Photographs: Alexandra Campbell, Lisa Valder, Cat Vinton
Contact Kate Halfpenny on www.onegatefield.com
Contact Faversham Makers on firstname.lastname@example.org