• Fiona Bielby

Here's the launch of my new project!!

Project Malton, I don't have an official title for you yet, but eventually I will...

This project has been 100% inspired by one special and inspiring lady that has sadly departed from our world at the end of 2019, my Nanna. Nanna worked hard, once the owner of a ‘corner’ shop, she used to run it whilst caring for Mum and my Aunt, this she did with pride. I believe from, what she told me, they received a payout for the shop when they were notified that the street and the shop were being demolished. A common thing around the pit-mines up north at the time. She then used her head and the other skills she already had, setting up as a seamstress. She even made a gown for a lady attending the royal garden party, one of her proudest moments. Later in life Nanna went to care for children with learning difficulties, whilst helping my Aunt look after her daughters, my beautiful cousins, Claire and Anna. Despite being a busy lady she always found time for God, being a devoted Christian lady.

A very resourceful woman, who loved to share her passion and belief in God with everyone near and dear to her, she often preached at her local church too. She was so full of energy and always made time for us when we visited, she’d fill our tummies with fig rolls and heads with tales of Jesus and her devotion to the church. These are such fond memories.

After her passing, at the funeral, a photo I’d never seen before was being passed around everyone there. It was Nanna, before children (as far as I can tell) at the shop; she stood proudly behind the counter-a black and white iconic image of that era. It got me thinking, will we have the iconic image of our era in 60 years time? I’m really not sure, maybe we will maybe we won’t, but there’s no harm in trying is there?

So here, because of this I’m launching this project, I’m hoping to contact 52 small business’ in and around Malton, I’d like to document them in a particular way, that will, fingers crossed, show many similarities. I’m going to take a series of images and post 6 each week with a little about the business and the owner/s. I’ve done a couple already and a have a few in the pipe-line too.

Malton is gem of a location for local produce, crafts and small business’ so I’m hoping I’ll be successful in capturing the 52!

Week 1: I ventured out to The Gallery ran by Christine Hughes...

The Gallery Malton
Christine in her shop surrounded by other local artists work along with her own.
Christine has drawn and designed all of these fabrics herself, she's inspired very much by nature and is clearly very talented. We have enjoyed photographing her fabrics over the last few weeks, as she's excitingly going to be designing a brochure for her pop-up stall in York's John Lewis!! Go Christine.
Fabrics by Christine Hughes
The Gallery, Malton
The shop front on her opening night last year.
Behind the scenes, in the shop
Enjoying been creative is one of Christine's favourite things; these are some experimental tags for her upcoming event at John Lewis.
Christine working at her desk
The 'desk shot' the one that inspired me.
Project Selfie
Time for a selfie...Ooo I'm not looking forwards to this part of my project, but this is the face behind the camera everyone!

Is in Malton market place, Christine used to be based up the Shambles, AKA as The Paperspoon, but she had a dream. A dream to run a gallery, hosting exhibitions and bringing other artists together to form a creative community. Already, not even a year after the opening of her new gallery, she’s doing just that. Christine regularly organises creative workshops from jewellery making and silversmithing to Lino-printing and lampshade making. She has many more ideas up her sleeve for this year, if you’re interested either pop in and see her or visit her website www.paperspoon.co.uk to find out more.

Christine is always busy creating something, her latest accomplishment, a series of fabrics which are all available to view in the gallery. She uses other local crafters to help her create products too using her fabric range, so if you fancy some new cushions, a bespoke lampshade or other handmade furbishments I recommend you call by to have a look.

Week 2 was spent at Yorkshire Wolds Way Apple Juice,

This is one of the yummiest little business’ local to Malton, based just half a mile out of Norton off Welham Road, it’s a hidden gem. Jane and Jon took on the business around a couple of years ago now, purchasing it from friends. As husband and wife they pride themselves on being a family run business, running it pretty much on their own with help from time-to-time off their son Toby (age 7, correct me if I’m wrong Jane). They do it all: Marketing, sourcing the apples-all from the UK, pressing and bottling of the apples too.

Working at Wolds Way Apple Juice
Jane filling the bottles with apple juice

I found the process fascinating to watch, as the apples were transformed in to the sweet nectar. It’s so lovely to see and know that traditional methods are still being used! When I visited Jane and Jon to see the process, I saw it all. The apples were first washed and then crushed in the mill, from here the mushy pulp was hand-scooped into the cheese cloths, then the fruity parcels were carefully stacked between the pressing boards and squished under high pressure (from a rather impressive machine) making the juice flood from the cloths where it was collected in a tank ready to be bottled. The process is referred to as the ‘cold press’ method. The juice then has a tiny bit of vitamin C added (ascorbic acid) this stops the juice discolouring. From here the sealed bottles go in to a huge bath of hot water, where it’s heated to a certain temperature-pasteurised, allowing the juice to be safely store for the next 18 months.

Wolds Way Apple Juice
The golden nectar, ready for the next stage.
Wolds Way Apple Juice
The desk shot....Jane, John and their son enjoying the apple juice on site.

Jane a Jon offer a variety of flavours such as: Apple and Pear, Apple and Raspberry, Bramley Apple, Sweet Apple and Spiced Apple juice (this one is delicious served warm) their juice is award winning and they are proud to say they supply both local business’ and well know ones too such as Betty’s tea-rooms.

If you’d like to try some of their juice check out their website: https://yorkshirewoldsapplejuice.co.uk/our-products/ and I also believe it’s sold in The Patisserie in Malton too.

Wolds way Apple Juice
The apple juice, product shot.
Wolds way Apple Juice
Well, they don't really have a shop front but this is what they look at every day!!
Wolds way Apple Juice
Selfie time!! With big rubber gloves. Hehe

Week 3 The Topiary Tree, Floristry Shop.

Gemma’s mother, believe it or not, started in the floristry business around 30 years ago, selling dried flowers on the end of a market stall she used to work on. This progressed and she opened her first shop on Saville Street in Malton, with Gemma’s growing interest in the floristry trade she went off to Askham Bryan College, to train as a florist. Following in her mother footsteps, not long after she qualified, they took on a shop in Helmsley where Gemma’s career began to flourish. At 18 years old she was running her own shop, pretty amazing really. After a successful time in Helmsley they recently, because of personal reasons, decided to drop back down to the one shop, together deciding on Malton as the best location.

The Topiary Tree, Malton
Gemma working on a customer's order

The mother daughter team are non-the-less busier, they’ve built themselves an amazing reputation, so they’ve been busy with plenty of weddings along with the general day to day stuff too. Gemma and her mother have good relations with their customers, even when I went in for an hour to capture the idilic, little shop and Gemma at work, there were plenty of familiar faces popping in to say a friendly hello and ask after Gemma and her Mum. It’s lovely to see that that this type of community still is very much alive!

The pair enjoy involving and promoting other small local business’ too, with Gemma doing plentiful Christmas wreath workshops over the festive season, running them from various cafes and places in Malton. She’s also included Louise, from The Drunken Candle and Florian Poirot in her latest Valentines hampers. So fella’s and ladies if you you’re struggling to think of something for your other half this Friday, why no pop in to The Topiary Tree and see what Gemma has to offer…

The Topiary Tree, Malton
So much colour, so much to look at, what fun!
The Topiary Tree, Malton
The shop front, what a quaint little place.
The Topiary Tree, Malton
Valentine's Day covered by Gemma another local business!
The Topiary Tree, Malton
The desk shot!
The Topiary Tree, Malton
Selfie time, we tried hiding behind the plants!

Week 4 The Drunk Candle Co

With a love for the odd cocktail, candles, all thing bright and making things, The Drunk Candle Company was born…it made sense for Louise to combine all these elements to make the perfect product! When I say perfect, I mean PERFECT, Louise’s candles smell divine and just like the real deal, from Rhubarb and Ginger Gin to Espresso Martini they are fantastic. Louise works from her dining room table in Malton, she’s a one-manned-band and totally mad (in a good way of course) about candles, which helps.

The Drunk Candle Company
Louise making up a batch of candles.

Last week I joined Louise in one of her candle making sessions, where I got to watch her expertly mix and hand pour a batch of Clementine and Presecco scented burners. As she made the batch up, Louise passionately told me about the soy wax she chooses to use: she informed me of how her candles are as natural as they can be, being made with this wax, means they burn cleaner and for longer. Quids in, you can smell the scent almost twice as long as a normal candle of this size, plus you also don’t get any nasty chemicals being released in to the air whilst you’re doing so. Using the soy wax incredibly means that they are 100% vegan friendly too!

I had no idea of all the sciences behind making a candles before we started, naively, I assumed you heated the wax, added the scent and pored them into their moulds, this is not so: Louise holds the secrets behind the temperatures, measurements and timings to getting the perfect aroma and the most efficient burning candles. She has learnt this through her experimentation and passion for the procedure. Louise also is the brains behind the branding, she designs each label herself and she tells me that the tin container is 100% recyclable also, something else Louise believes in.

To get your hands on these heavenly, scented candles either check out her website https://thedrunkcandlecompany.co.uk alternately, visit @Plum or @the topiary tree in Malton. I know Louise is planning on expanding her radius in the near future to other local towns, but for now this is where she is. To say she started her company The Drunk Candle towards the end of 2019, I’d say she’s doing pretty well.

The Drunk Candle Company
What a smell, these candles are amazing!
The Drunk Candle Company
Well, as Louise work from her home we thought it best not the photograph her front door.
The Drunk Candle Company
The array of candles and scents.
The Drunk Candle Company
The desk shot...
The Drunk Candle Company
An action selfie shot with Louise and her four-legged-friend!

Week 5 The Patisserie, Malton

There’s no arguing that a bit of hard work and old-fashioned determination can’t get you to where you want to be in life. I’d say, “the proof is in the pudding,” with Andrew’s journey! He’s worked hard to get where he is today.