SHOPPERS strolled through the hallways of a 'Hogwarts-esque' boarding school at a charity gift sale.

Tinsel-topped stalls and a twinkling Christmas tree filled rooms at Radley College for Sobell House's annual Christmas fair, where more than 60 traders helped to fundraise for the Headington hospice.

Sobell House trustee Sandy Nash, who helped to organise the event, said: "It's been fantastic. I've got some very positive comments from people who said they've spent more this year. We have got many Sobell supporters to whom we are very grateful."

Families stopped by at the school near Abingdon to stock up on presents including clothing, toys and ornaments.

Sobell volunteer Rita Besley sat on a wreath-topped entrance table and tallied more than 1,000 people filing past in on Saturday, and was set for similar success on Sunday.

Bicester resident Mrs Besley started supporting the charity nine years ago after her husband Gerald Besley died from stomach cancer.

She said: "He went into Sobell and they were marvellous. He wanted to come home to die and within three days he did. The staff were wonderful to me; instead of pushing pills they said why don't you come and work for us. Everybody is so kind.

"I wanted to give something back. It's company as well; there is always someone there you can go and talk to."

Mrs Besley took entrance fees alongside fellow Yvette Barnard, who manages the charity's shop in Little Clarendon Street in Oxford.

Among the crowd of shoppers was Sobell House Hospice Charity's chief executive Diane Gardner, who said trustees had drawn in the most stall holders they had ever had.

She said: "The numbers are definitely up on last year, it's been wonderful. There's a lot of variety of stock and prices for all ranges. It's a lovely atmosphere at the college, it's a bit like being at Hogwarts."

Trader Debbie Faulker, who lives in Stonesfield near Woodstock, has been selling jams and chutneys at the event for seven years.

She said: "We always do really well here but that's not the reason we come. Sobell is a fantastic charity and I've known lots of friends who have been in there. It's very worthy."

The self-confessed 'craftaholic' also sold handmade cards and blankets, displayed just around the corner from Patrick Foye.

Mr Foye has been selling his silver jewellery at the fair since it started 10 years ago at Kingston Bagpuize House, and stuck with it when it moved to Radley College about six years ago.

He said: "We've got a great spot and the school venue is lovely. Sobell does a really good job getting people in. It's a great cause and something that's very close to our hearts."

The event has previously raised about £10,000 for the palliative care hospice at the Churchill Hospital.