The owners of an open space for artisans toasted its 21st birthday on Saturday.

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Charles and Susie Lodge opened Libra Court as an escape from high street chains, and have hosted a constantly evolving line-up of artists and craftsmen.

The couple, both in their sixties, have stepped back from running a shop there themselves, but still live next door, should anything go wrong.

Charles said: “Lots of people couldn’t believe it’s been 21 years – I don’t know where all the time has gone.

“It’s been our little baby, people have called it an oasis.”

As well as the anniversary celebration, he was also keen to point out the redevelopment of York Street, which now has three shopfronts to lure passersby into the courtyard. Drawn in by offers of free mulled wine and nibbles, visitors helped Charles and Susie raise £120 for the children’s charity CLIC.

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