Pewsey Country Market marks its 30th birthday
Pewsey’s Country Market celebrated its 30th birthday on Tuesday, although the organising committee warned that if some new and younger blood does not join it the future of the market looks bleak.
The market was originally launched as WI Market in November 1982 at the Methodist Hall and the name was changed to Pewsey Country Market in 1997, said its manager for 28 years Betty Mulcock.
Later the market moved into the larger Bouverie Hall where it is held every Tuesday.
It is a traditional pannier market where local producers take along their goods to sell.
However for technical reasons the goods have to be handed over to the market committee at the door and while the producers run the stalls all the money goes initially to the committee but is then paid out to the producers at the end of the market after a small percentage has been deducted for the hire of the hall, insurances etc.
“Everything that comes in in the morning is signed in and then belongs to the market,” said treasurer Val Swindale. “At the end of the day all the goods that are left are handed back to the producers, that is the way this market is run.”
Mr Swindale, who has been the treasurer and book keeper for more than 15 years, said the way the market trades makes his job vital but at the age of 84 he would like to stand down and let someone else take over.
“For the market to continue we have to find somebody to replace me as treasurer but so far there has been no-one prepared to do this,” said Mr Swindale, whose wife Anne was one of the market founders.
All the organisers are getting older and the committee is desperately in need of new blood, he added.
Although committee members give their services, the position of treasurer does attract an honorarium of £150 a year. “We can’t afford to pay anybody more than that because after we pay for the hire of the hall we barely break even,” said Mr Swindale.
He said he was prepared to continue for a little longer until a successor could be found and meanwhile the market is open every Tuesday, 9.30-11am selling home made cakes, pies and savouries; jams and preserves; vegetables and plants and craft goods including woodwork, paintings and knitted items.