The one single question Mark and I get asked more than any other is which one of you is Bert and which one of you is Gert…

I’m sure it’s like comedians who have their catchphrases shouted at them in the street. We really like it, it gives people an easy way in to talk to us and usually results in a really interesting conversation. Our standard answer to the question, which you may have heard before, is that we are brothers. Jason (myself) and Mark (my older brother by 3 years, 3 months and 2 days) and that Bert and Gert were our grandparents. We’d like to give you a bit more of an insight into who we are, who Bert and Gert were and why they are our inspiration in everything we do.

Mark and I were born to proud parents Tony and June, we were their only children, so far so good. Sounds like the set up of a standard 1970’s sitcom. I was born 10 days late, I should have been born on our Mothers Birthday on July 12th. Most people who know me really well, say that I set a precedence for the rest of my life by being late, timekeeping is something I really have to work at.

Mark would certainly agree with that, if we are not somewhere an hour early, we are late. That might be his military training, with him being ex-Navy, hence “The Merchant Stores” part of our craft range name. Like all parents, ours worked hard to give us the things they hadn’t had in their own childhood. Just like their parents had before them. Mom and Dad were born at the very end of the second world war. Mark and I can appreciate now, much more as adults, how tough those times would have been, the end of rationing not coming until a good while after the end of the war. The times of Make Do and Mend, utilising many of the skills we now call crafts, which then were a necessity.

Our dad Anthony, known as Tony was born to Bert (Bertram) and Florence. One of two children, his younger sister, Rosaleen. We know very little about our Dads side of the family. Unfortunately, they all left us way too early and our father sadly passed away very young too. We later discovered through researching our family tree that on Berts side of the family if we went back a few generations, that his family had been Hawkers, street market people. It must be in our blood, it’s funny that so many years later, we now run our events and that includes a good many street markets. Since we began in 2012 we have provided over 3,500 spaces to crafters, designer makers and artisan food traders to sell at our events.

Our Mom, June was the second youngest of 5 children, 3 elder brothers and one younger sister, born to Dennis and Gertrude (Gert). Through circumstances which we won’t go in to here, Gert found herself alone. Bringing up 5 young children, she worked multiple jobs and did her absolute best for her children. She didn’t suffer fools gladly and like many women of her generation, fought to be taken seriously in a man’s world. She ran a tight ship, worked hard and still found time to pass on the skills she’d learnt to her children. Later in life, when she could take things a little easier, she passed on those skills to her grandchildren. Gert was a keen knitter, I still have a warm woollen hat she knitted me shortly before she died. It keeps me warm in winter and brings back warm memories of learning to knit, French knit and sew with my grandmother, or Nan as she was to us kids. Nan was also a keen baker and I knew my way around a kitchen at a young age. Nan always had a slice of cake for us whenever we visited. To this day, my favourite cake is a homemade sponge cake with glace cherries in it, no one makes it quite like Nan did.


How can we work together

We can provide a range of options to help your event go smoothly…

We can provide a range of equipment from Marquees to Dancefloors, speak to us for all of your event needs. Big or small events, we put the event in eventful. With a vast experience working on events as diverse as private parties, large scale public events and art installations. Our Crew will work hard to make sure your event is a success. 

Our event crew members play a critical role in the successful execution of events, from regular market style events to large-scale concerts and festivals. These dedicated professionals are responsible for a variety of tasks, including setting up and breaking down equipment, coordinating logistics, managing safety protocols, and providing technical support.

A typical day for an event crew member might start with unloading trucks filled with installations and equipment. They work as a team with artists and riggers to assemble these components, following detailed plans to ensure everything is installed correctly and safely. Throughout the event, crew members remain on standby to address any issues that arise, such as technical malfunctions or safety concerns.

Event crew members often interact with performers, vendors, and attendees, making communication and adaptability essential skills. Their work is physically demanding and often requires long hours, but the satisfaction of contributing to a memorable event can be highly rewarding.

In essence, our event crew members are the backbone of any successful event, providing the foundation upon which memorable experiences are built. Their expertise and dedication ensure that events run smoothly and safely, creating an atmosphere where attendees can relax and enjoy themselves.


Meet Our Organisers

Jason Wilkes

Co Founder

Mark Wilkes

Co Founder