Love Your Local Market campaign is launched in Fenland

Love Your Market campaign. Cllr Jan French enjoying a tart.

Love Your Market campaign. Cllr Jan French enjoying a tart. - Credit: Archant

SHOPPERS are being encouraged to get back to basics to stock up on local, fresh produce as part of a national campaign to encourage people back to their market.

Love Your Market campaign. Graham, Toby and Martha White.

Love Your Market campaign. Graham, Toby and Martha White. - Credit: Archant

The Love Your Local Market campaign was officially launched in Fenland with the aim of encouraging people back into the historic heart and trading centre of our towns.

“People are in so much of a rush, everyone has a busy lifestyle that they shop in one place and miss out on the traditional service and guaranteed quality of the market place,” said market and events manager Mike Chapman.

“Markets offer value for money goods. The food on offer saves food miles, traders have a sense of pride in the town they serve and have many loyal customers.”

Pop Jolley, portfolio holder for markets, tourism and leisure, said trade had dropped off in recent years and it was their job to re-ignite enthusiasm for market place shopping to keep the tradition alive.

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“We need to encourage people back, successful markets draw visitors and that benefits the whole town,” he said.

The campaign was launched at the March Wednesday market with a free cookery demonstration and a meet your councillor stall.

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Other events will be held at Wisbech, Whittlesey and Chatteris markets in the coming months including a Father’s Day market event.

Fenland’s longest standing market trader, Paul Woodruff, 65, whose family has been running Coldham Fruit Wholesale stall for 55 years, said out of town stores and one-stop supermarket shopping had signalled the decline in market shopping.

“I understand people are busy but by not using markets people are missing out on quality local goods served with a friendly face, there is a wealth of knowledge on the markets, all we are asking for is support.”

Shoppers Marion Woods, 81 and her 85-year-old husband Ray, from Wisbech, said they enjoyed the lively banter and joking around of the old fashioned market places.

“A lot of markets have lost that spiel which is a shame,” said Mr Woods.

“I remember the Wisbech market when the stallholders at Frank Williams and Marks veg stalls would shout out to each other, they would draw crowds ”It wasn‘t just shopping it was entertainment,” he said.

Alan Hooks, who was handing out local produce recipe cards, said markets offered value for money and reliable quality while shopper Corinna Gibson said that sadly there was a Catch 22 situation going on in the current economic environment where new traders were afraid to try out a stall which meant less market variety.

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