what a setting!
Discovering the Piece Hall
Year-round Christmas shops tend to nestle themselves in key holiday towns and so, at first glance, A Piece of Christmas may seem a little off the beaten track.
Halifax, superbly located and full of history as it is, isn’t generally considered a mainstay of the English tourist trail.
However as I parked up outside the Grade 1 listed Piece Hall, the penny dropped immediately as to why this Christmas store had set up residence here.
Piece Hall is the only remaining Georgian cloth hall in the world, having opened in 1779 for the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth.
The Hall has seen quite a number of transformations over the years but most recently reopened in 2017 following a multi-million pound renovation. And it is now home to an art gallery, heritage centre and numerous beautifully presented independent stores, cafes and bars.
visiting on Yorkshire Day!
How A Piece Of Christmas Came To Be
Visiting on Yorkshire Day, the central courtyard was positively buzzing with live music, food and entertainment.
And Christmas store owner Frances Bournes assured me that, whilst the first Yorkshire Day post-covid was a particularly big celebration, there is always something going on at Piece Hall.
So with the band continuing their set in the background, the ever-so-welcoming Frances filled me in on her journey into the Christmas world.
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Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
Three years ago and newly retired from her role as a Council Social Housing Officer, she was sitting in the garden one day with friends when someone commented that Piece Hall would make the perfect location for a Christmas shop.
The passing remark got Frances thinking and the rest, as they say, is history. ‘[I was in] quite an intense career. So to go from that to this is just wonderful’.
Five months later in September 2018, the doors to A Piece of Christmas opened to the public.
Frances is particularly proud of the wider range of gorgeous Gisela Graham decorations they offer and the shop has a thoughtful selection of beautiful decorations and Christmas trinkets on sale.
Peering behind the ornaments through the windows of the second floor store will treat you to a fabulous view across the Piece Hall courtyard as well.
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‘a little souvenir of your visit to the Piece Hall’
In addition to the products sourced from hand-picked suppliers, Frances and her partner Dave have created two bespoke Christmas puzzles and a set of colourful light-up Piece Hall baubles.
‘We’re far more than a load of baubles’, smiles Frances, ‘[It’s all about] a little souvenir of your visit to the Piece Hall. For loads of people; their Christmas tree is the story of their lives. If a child walks in and says “wow!” then I’ve done my job.’
PERFECT FOR: Festive browsing in a piece of history
FIND IT HERE: The Piece Hall, Blackledge, Halifax HX1 1RE
DATE OF VISIT: 1 August 2021
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