One of the early signs that Christmas is on the way is the announcement of dates for the annual bazaar.

It is a chance for many of us to start thinking of gifts to hand to family and friends when the festive season finally arrives.

It is also an opportunity for many organisations to raise much-needed funds for their activities in the year ahead.

As you can see in Picture 1, some bazaars attracted huge numbers of people. This was the scene at the British Red Cross event at Oxford Town Hall in 1967, with hardly an inch of space to spare.

Stallholders and shoppers are seen facing the stage as the event was officially opened.

Then it was all systems go, with everyone anxious to raid the stalls and pack their bags with as many Christmas bargains as they could.

In Picture 2, Charlotte Pitman, 10, left, and Annabel Franklin, 11, found themselves in a seasonal setting on a stall selling hand-made Christmas candles at Wallingford Town Hall in 1986.

Oxford Mail: Members of Wallingford and District Art Club were staging their winter exhibition and had put on display more than 100 items, including oils, drawings and wood engravings, hoping to attract Christmas shoppers.

Charlotte Lawson and Gemma Henderson are seen in Picture 3 eyeing up the goodies at the Methodist Church bazaar at Minster Lovell, near Witney, in 1998.

There were also gifts galore on offer at the Red Cross bazaar at Chipping Norton in 1990, although sadly we don’t the names of any of those in Picture 4.

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It was brisk business, too, at the Oxford Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing bazaar in St Ebbe’s in 1965.

Shoppers and supporters are seen in Picture 5 besieging one of the stalls, packed with all sorts of goodies – with plenty of choice, no-one was going home empty-handed.

The spinning wheel in Picture 6 proved very popular at the Oxford Labour Party bazaar in 1957.

The wheel had well-known Oxford names to attract punters, including Tom Tower, Hinksey Park, Lake Street, Abingdon Road, St Aldate’s and Cowmead. The little girl in the hat is holding Hinksey Park – we don’t know her name.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.