Marlborough's newest market is a big success
The first new regular open air market in Marlborough for decades has been “a phenomenal success”.
Markets have been held in Marlborough at least since King John granted the town charters in 1204 and has general markets every Saturday and Wednesday.
Farmers’ markets were held for some years in the town hall on Sundays but these stopped a year ago, leaving local producers with nowhere to sell their goods in the town.
The recently formed Marlborough Transition Town group, which has a green vision for the town, teamed up with Wessex Community Markets to run the new Sunday market.
It will, at first, take place at first on the first Sunday on the month.
And the first proved to be a bigger success than the organisers could have hoped for, said Ellie Gill, of Wessex Community Markets.
She said that if the markets did as well for their initial nine-month trial period they could be held every week.
Sunday’s market occupied the same space in the centre of the High Street as the traditional Wednesday and Saturday markets.
It could not be missed because one outstanding feature was a 1934 Routemaster double-decker bus – renamed the Routemonster – with a cafe and viewing deck on its upper floor and kitchens on the lower floor.
Local shoppers mingled with tourists and crowded around the market stalls with one – the Oxford Delhi, selling Indian foods – almost selling out within an hour of opening said Ms Gill.
The market had been due to open at 11am but customers began queuing as the stalls were still being prepared.
Shortly after noon, when customers were still queuing at the stalls, Ms Gill said: “It has been simply phenomenal...
“We have had hundreds and hundreds of people coming to shop.”
Mayor Edwina Fogg cut a ribbon to formally open the market which was soon thronging with people despite light rain and blustery winds.
Ms Gill said: “The Oxford Delhi stall has been doing markets for four years and he told me he’s never been so busy – he was almost sold out by noon.”
Melanie Jones from Hinton Marsh Farm at Bourton near Swindon, whose father Stan was selling free range meat from their farm, said: “It has been really good.
“We have been busy from the start.”
Dave Smith, who runs Ramsbury Fudge, had a queue of people waiting to try his samples with many of them buying some to take home.
He said: “I have been very busy since the moment we opened.”
Other local sellers included Lucy and Adam Wilkinson-Moore from Burderop selling their Spindlewhorl woollen products; beekeepers Terry Cooke and Fee Robinson, both from Calne, selling their honey; the Ramsbury Tea Company; Chocolate Treasures from Devizes; and locally-based Wiltshire Wood Works and Restoration.