A TOWN centre square has been transformed into a thriving vintage fair in a bid to revitalise the area and boost trade.
Council bosses have turned back the clock in Church Square, Hartlepool, for the Vintage Village Fair which got underway yesterday.
Traders have set up stall in wooden cabins selling all kinds of retro goods and visitors are being entertained by live street theatre and jazz music. The fair continues today and tomorrow and Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs are confident the fair will be a success.
Lesley Strickland, the council’s cultural events officer, said: “It is going really well so far and over the next two days it is going to get even busier.
“We have got lots of vintage traders, old-fashioned sweets and some fantastic entertainment.
“We are holding three events like this over the year in connection with the Mary Portas initiative to regenerate town centres.”
The events, all under the banner of Church Street Presents, are funded from the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund.
Hartlepool was awarded a £100,000 boost as part of TV celebrity Mary Portas’s bid to revamp the country’s high streets.
The council hopes the events will encourage between 8,000 to 10,000 more people into the town centre.
Attractions at the vintage fair include retro fashions and accessories, vintage jewellery, handmade soaps, tasty treats miniature vintage vehicles from North-East Die Cast Models.
A number of life-size vintage cars are also on display with street theatre by the half human-half plant Potheads, stilt walking seadogs Land Ahoy, dance magic from Urban Kaos and live jazz music from James Harrison and Tom Chapman.
The fair, from noon to 6pm, also coincides with the Send Three and Fourpence exhibition about the Queens Rink Ballroom at Hartlepool Art Gallery.
Church Square will be a hive of activity again in September for Street Revolution featuring street food stalls, theatre, art, dance, music and free running. The final event is A Merry Christmas A’Fair for a festive market selling sweets and mulled wine, plus carol singing and street theatre performances.