Harry Potter fans flock to Derbyshire town for new store selling official merchandise

Wirksworth Wizarding Day was a huge success as 7,000 fans of Harry Potter descended on the town on Saturday, October 20.
Wirksworth Wizarding Day was a huge success as 7,000 fans of Harry Potter descended on the town on Saturday, October 20.

More than 7,000 Harry Potter fans apparated in Wirksworth as a new shop opened its doors with a magical family festival.

Wirksworth Wizarding Day turned out to be one of the biggest family events in Derbyshire this year, casting a spell over the whole town.

Shops, cafés and pubs dressed their windows, and charity Aquabox raised almost £2,000 for its disaster relief work.

The day also saw the launch of Wizard Works, the region’s first Harry Potter shop, selling official gifts, toys, games, sweets, posters and t-shirts from the much-loved world created by JK Rowling.

Co-owner Sally Anne Swindell said: “The shop had a queue of hundreds all day and we almost sold out.

“Due to its success we will open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of January, and look forward to welcoming fans from across the region.

“The shop may stay open throughout 2019 if it continues to be a success.”

Most Wizarding Day visitors were from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, although others travelled from Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and as far away as Devon and Kent.

Sally’s business partner Bill Bevan said: “For some it was their first visit to Wirksworth and they left with memories of a friendly and distinctive town.

“The sun shone, wands were waved, and fancy dress costumes worn in a festival atmosphere that was also a great boost for local trade.”

A distinctive old shop decorated with broomsticks and cauldrons, Wizard Works itself looks like a scene straight from Diagon Alley.

Sally and Bill are now looking for a date in October 2019 for the second Wirksworth Wizarding Day – and will announce it early in the New Year.

In the meantime they have founded the Wirksworth School of Magic to offer activities throughout the year, beginning with events for the Christmas Street Market on Sunday, November 25.

n For more information about the shop, go to facebook.com/WizardWorksUK.