At 9am last Friday there were three words on everyone's lips in Dannevirke: "There's no wind."

For the first time in years the Chamber of Commerce market day opened with hardly a breeze to ripple covers on the traders' tables and chamber chairwoman Sue Berry was delighted.

"We've 22 stallholders as well as retailers out on High St and it's a relief the wind has stayed away," she said.

With the torrential rain easing just before 9am, everyone was set for a good day. And while the rain returned again at noon, it didn't dampen the spirits of loyal stallholders who have been making the trek from Hastings "forever''.


"We come every year and just love it," Carol Milner said.

Carol and her sister Jane are always the first to ring and book their stall site every year, Sue said. And they're used to the spring fling our weather delivers.

"We've had stuff blown away a couple of years, but it's marvellous coming here because Dannevirke is such a great country town," Carol said.

Another stalwart from the Bay is Vin Duggan of Hastings.

"I've a lot of loyal customers," he said. "My wooden toys are a hobby I tried to give up last May, but after two weeks, I was climbing the walls. I'm as happy as Larry here."

New resident Vicky O'Connor has moved from the South Island to a farm at Horoeka. She started her photography business 12 years ago and has raised $200,000 for child cancer research.

"Living out on a farm in the middle of nowhere markets are a great way to meet people," she said. "There are a lot of really friendly people here and this is my second local market."

Vicky themes her displays with a vintage setting at the Totara College market and a country theme on High St on Friday.

"I'll try a retro look next time because I'll give anything a crack," she said.

Students from Norsewood and Districts School were raising money for their trip to the North Island Jump Jam Championships on November 5 in Tauranga.

"All our cakes went in the first hour," Jodi Kent said.

The students will be running a car wash outside Dannevirke New World this Saturday, raising more money for their trip.

With people looking for bargains the St Vincent de Paul stall was under siege.

"Minutes after our stall opened cakes had sold and people were grabbing bargains," Teresa Mills said.